Four months after laying of foundation stone for upgrading the badly dilapidated Banga-Garhshankar-Anandpur Saheb-Naina Devi road, the Centre shelved the project worth Rs 581 crore citing that “there is not much pressure of traffic on it”. Following this, the Punjab government released Rs 25 crore for the repair work.
Talking to The Indian Express, Punjab Cabinet Minister for PWD Vijay Inder Singla confirmed that National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is not taking up this project as he himself had spoken with the officials at the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. “When they have no plans for it, we have sanctioned Rs 25 crores for its repair work as road is in a bad shape,” said the state Cabinet Minister Singla.
Before the Lok Sabha elections, the then Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari had laid the foundation stone for the 67.64 km long road in February.
The work on this road was proposed to be started from June.
But when state government had a follow up with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, the officials concerned told them that there is no administrative approval of this project on papers yet because there is not much traffic on it and NHAI will no take up such projects.
Congress leader Nimisha Mehta said that it is a cheating with the people of this area who were allured by the promise of constructing a four-lane project here just ahead of Lok Sabha elections and now they shelved the project.
Meanwhile Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari, who had written and spoken to both the chief minister and the PWD Minister for releasing funds for the immediate repair of the road, thanked the state government for sanctioning Rs 25 crores for immediate relief.
He had also written a letter to Gadkari regarding the same issue.