Over three years on, work on upgrading Outer Circular road still far from completion : The Tribune India

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Over three years on, work on upgrading Outer Circular road still far from completion

Over three years on, work on upgrading Outer Circular road still far from completion

The incomplete Smart Road around the walled city in Amritsar on Monday. Photo: Sunil Kumar



Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, April 2

Even after jumping several deadlines, work on upgrading the Outer Circular Road to a smart road is still incomplete. Construction work on the 7.4-km Outer Ring Road was inaugurated by then Cabinet Minister OP Soni on September 18, 2020. As per the government’s announcement during the inauguration of the Rs 118.65 crore project, it was supposed to be completed in January 2023. But even after jumping deadlines, the project remains incomplete and nothing looks “smart” on the filthy road.

As per the proposal, Amritsar Smart City Limited (ASCL) was supposed to develop footpaths for pedestrians and construct parking facilities for cycle-rickshaws and e-autos. The authorities had proposed landscaping for beautification of the road, along with installation of street furniture, green belt, bus stop shelters, lights, signboards and digital advertising boards. The MC proposed new street vendors’ zones for putting up smart stalls without encroaching upon footpaths. As per the proposed plan, 1.8-metre wide cycle tracks were to be constructed on both sides of the road. Lights were to be installed on roadsides and a parking lot set up to facilitate travellers and streamline traffic.

During the last three and half years, the Amritsar Smart City Limited only re-carpeted the road but the trenches dug up for laying the electricity wires are lying open. The sewer manhole covers are not properly placed. Heaps of garbage, vends and haphazardly parked vehicles expose the tall claims of ASCL and the MC.

“The cables laid in the underground trenches are now lying open. The manhole covers and iron grills alongside the green belt are missing. No one is aware about the status of the project, whether it is complete or has been halted in its tracks. But even after spending more than Rs 100 crore, nothing has changed,” said Sandeep Sharma, a resident of Bhagtanwala.

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