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Posted at: Feb 15, 2018, 1:40 AM; last updated: Feb 15, 2018, 1:40 AM (IST)TRAVEL PANGS : OUR CITY OUR ISSUES

Voters want new MC House to construct ROBs

Thousands of residents suffer everyday as they get stuck in traffic jams when railroad crossings are closed for trains to pass. This time is most difficult for patients as ambulances carrying them, too, are caught in the gridlock.

Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14

The existing railway crossings on major roads in the city, including Pakhowal Road, Shastri Nagar and Dana Mandi Road, near Arora Palace, have become major traffic nuisance residents.

The previous Houses of the Municipal Corporation (MC) had failed to provide relief, said residents. They want the new House of the civic body to be formed after elections to make crossing of railway gates easier and less time consuming.

Residents have been demanding construction of the railway over bridges (ROBs) and railway under bridges/passes (RUBs) in these areas for over two decades, but no one has paid heed to their demand. However, the MC has been planning construction of ROBs on Pakhowal Road, Shastri Nagar and Dana Mandi Road for a long time, but the projects have yet to see the light of day.

People fed up with tall promises of leaders

A group of senior citizens at Leisure Valley said they were fed up with leaders, who made tall claims and did nothing in reality. A 65-year old Satish Kumar said, “Thousands of persons are stuck in traffic snarls at railway crossings everyday, but the civic body has never taken the matter seriously. I have come to know that the civic body has been preparing design of ROBs at Dana Mandi and Pakhowal Road for the last three years, but no construction has started at these places.”

“The new MC House must ensure timely construction of bridges instead of making tall claims. Patients in ambulances and students of nearby schools also face inconvenience when railway gates are closed,” he added.

Frequent jams on Pakhowal Road

Long traffic jams are often witnessed at least three times in an hour during closure of railway gates at the Ludhiana-Ferozepur railway line on Pakhowal Road. The foundation stone of much awaited ROB on Pakhowal Road was laid in September, 2017, but no work has commenced till date. Notably, the MC has been planning construction of the ROB here for the past several years, but the project is still hanging fire.

Situation no different in Shastri Nagar

The railway crossing of Shastri Nagar is also situated near the Pakhowal Road, due to which long traffic jams are also witnessed on the Sarabha Nagar intersection, Malhar Road and Model Town. Residents of Shastri Nagar and Model Town have also sought that the new House of the MC should get the ROB constructed as they suffer a lot each day.

Bridge over Dana Mandi Road hangs fire

Residents have been demanding ROB over Dhuri railway line on the Dana Mandi road that connects Dugri Road with Gill Road. Sources said construction of the ROB was scheduled in 2012 after getting approval, but nothing had been done so far.

Meanwhile, residents also wanted that the upcoming new House members should take up issue of reconstruction of Jagraon Bridge so that the work could be completed on time. Besides, they want an ROB over the Giaspura railway crossing.

90% project report complete

The superintending engineer of the Municipal Corporation, Pawan Sharma said, the proposal for the railway over bridge on Pakhowal Road was placed before AECOM, a consultant firm. “Around 90 per cent work on the detailed project report has already been completed. Along with an ROB, two underpasses are part of the project on Pakhowal Road,” he added.


RESIDENTSPEAK

"More than 35 years ago when Asian Games were held in 1982, Delhi was free of railway crossings. In any city, railway over and under bridges are more important than long elevated roads. The government planning on all these issues is very poor as in the past years funds have been spent on long elevated roads, rather than on existing railway crossings where people, including patients and students, waste their precious time. Traffic jams can be controlled to some extent on city roads after constructing required ROBs and RUBs."

Khushboo Bansal, Architect

"Instead of wasting time, the new House of the MC must focus on making the city free of railway crossings as commuters face a lot of inconvenience in absence of ROBs or RUBs on Dana Mandi Road, Pakhowal Road and Shastri Nagar. Thousands of people are stuck in traffic jams whenever railway gates are closed. I want dedicated councillors be sent to the civic body House so that they make a concrete plan to redress such issues."

Bachiter Singh, IT professional

"Instead of spending crores on unnecessary projects, priority should be given on construction of ROBs or RUBs to provide relief from traffic snarls at existing railway crossings. It is unfortunate that the previous MC Houses failed to take up this issue seriously, leaving us in lurch. We wish to see hardworking councillors, who actually want to work for development in the city. Voters must be given the right to remove elected representatives if they fail to raise their issues."

Rajat Sood, Businessman

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