NEARLY SEVEN months after the approach road to the Fateh Burj memorial in Chappar Chiri village was repaired following the visit of Punjab Culture and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu in January, the road again broke at many places and it was filled with rainwater. The road has proved to be a nightmare for people visiting the historic war memorial.
The 1.5-km approach road from Mohali to Fateh Burj was built in January this year after Sidhu visited the site and released a grant of Rs 10 lakh to construct it. But the road could not bear the first monsoon as it developed cracks at many places.
Jitender Singh, who works at a marriage palace near Chappar Chiri, said it is difficult to drive vehicles on the road at night. He added that after Tuesday’s rain, water has filled up the potholes and it would break the road further. “It is a historic building. People from different places come to see it. I could not understand why the 1.5-km stretch from Mohali towards the monument was not built properly. You can see the road and find out that it was built like it is a temporary road. As there are no footpaths and street lights, it is difficult to drive a two-wheeler at night,” said Jitender.
When Sidhu visited the memorial in January, he was told by the locals about the dilapidated condition of the same stretch. After inspecting the road, Sidhu ordered the Public Works Department (PWD) to repair the road and released a grant of Rs 10 lakh on behalf of then state Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and also gave Rs 12 lakh from his own discretionary fund to beautify the corridor of the monument.
According to the staff at Fateh Burj, every day around 100 people visit the historic monument and the number is bound to go up as now schools have opened after summer vacation and school students from across the state visit the monument.
A PWD official said there was no problem with the material used to construct the road but now many buses ply on the road which is the main reason why the road was broken. “Since the construction of the Kharar flyover is under way, most of the bus operators use this road. That is why the road was broken, but we will again repair it,” said the official.
Executive Engineer N S Walia could not be contacted as his phone was switched off.