Zirakpur underpass jumps 9-month deadline: News Kidda

Tribune News Service

Gaurav Kanthwal

Zirakpur, August 2

Motorists using the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highway will face more commotion as the under-construction vehicular underpass has missed the August deadline. The tentative date for completion of construction work was August 3.

3 August time limit set for project ends today

Given the current pace of work on the site, approximately five more months are needed to complete the project.

At present, the underpass and structure from the side of Zirakpur have been built, but the construction of the retaining wall is yet to start at the far end of Chandigarh. Concrete tiles are now being prepared just before the border with Chandigarh.

Partially complete underpass & approach structure (end) actual site

Sources said that due to the monsoon season, the slush and labor shortages had led to a slow pace of construction work. Previously, PWD officials had said rising sand rates and a shortage of soil due to mining restrictions had led to the slowdown.

“Very few workers, mostly those making concrete tiles for the wall, can be seen on the site today. Apart from that, construction work is progressing at a snail’s pace,” said Parminder Singla, a resident of Pabhat.

Snarl-ups are common on the route to Chandigarh

Thousands of motorists who commute daily on the route have been dealing with nuisance due to congestion and bottlenecks at the location for almost nine months.

The PWD has failed to streamline both sides of the road. While the section from Chandigarh to Zirakpur is slightly better, the opposite road is a mess with potholes over the stretch and concrete sticking out of berms. Wary of damage to vehicles, motorists are slowly entering the section, leading to traffic jams.

Commuters going to Chandigarh often take 30 to an hour to clear the 450-metre stretch due to poor lane conditions and heavy-duty vehicle driving in the Pabhat area.

A PWD official involved in the construction work said: “Due to the rainy season, the filling and expansion of the soil is delayed. There are still some problems with the availability of earth. Some service slip permissions are pending from Delhi. The underpass will be completed by the end of October.”

About 65-70% work is completed, but PWD officials insist it’s only a matter of two months, as the raw material has been obtained and the “assembly phase” does not take much time.

The underpass is being built on the Zirakpur side of the state highway. The project, which is expected to cost around Rs 10 crore, aims to facilitate the movement of heavy vehicles coming from the Pabhat area. It removes the permanent black spot on the highway.

1 hour to cover a stretch of 450 meters

  • It often takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to cross the 450m stretch while snarling
  • The stretch towards UT is full of potholes with concrete sticking out of roadsides
  • Heavy transport vehicles from Pabhat area make it worse

Project to facilitate Pabhat traffic

  • 450m Length
  • 9 months duration
  • Rs 10cr Cost

Five months delay Expected

65-70% work ‘complete’

  • rounded Underpass, retaining wall raised on Zirakpur side
  • Still Concrete tiles in preparation near the border of Chandigarh
  • Still to start Work on retaining wall at the end of Chandigarh

Will be ready in October

The rainy season slows down the filling and expansion of the soil. There are problems with the availability of earth. Some service lane permissions are pending. It will be ready at the end of October. — A PWD officer

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