Ludhiana: Work to construct 4 bridges over Sidhwan Canal stalled : The Tribune India

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Ludhiana: Work to construct 4 bridges over Sidhwan Canal stalled

Ludhiana: Work to construct 4 bridges over Sidhwan Canal stalled

The NHAI has allotted the bridge construction work on Sidhwan Canal to a Bathinda-based firm. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman



Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21

The construction of four bridges over Sidhwan Canal on the Ladhowal bypass in Ludhiana, which had begun in December last, has come to a halt. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said the reason behind halting the project was the non-sufficient closure of Sirhind Canal branch to undertake foundation and sub-structure works.

The project was approved in December last to help decongest the massive traffic congestion in the busy south city area, which was gradually becoming a hotspot for the food, recreation, and tourism industry.

Project report

  • Cost: Rs 16,64,11,000
  • Bridges: Four
  • Material: Steel truss
  • Length: 17.041-km
  • Location: Two each in Barewal Awana and Ayali Khurd with 300 metre distance from Raceway and Barewal bridges over Sidhwan Canal on Ladhowal bypass
  • Current status: Work stalled
  • Deadline: April-November, 2024

The development assumes significance as the project was awaiting nod for the past some time. The Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana, Sanjeev Arora, had impressed upon the NHAI Chairman Santosh Kumar Yadav to get the project approved.

Following the NHAI nod, the closure of the Sidhwan branch off-taking from Sirhind Canal was required to begin the construction activity at the site.

However, the district administration claimed that the NHAI/contractor had been given time for the canal closure, but they could not meet the deadlines. “The canal had to be opened recently to release water to farmers in the downstream districts on time,” the administration clarified.

Sharing details, Arora, who reviewed the progress of the project with officials concerned, told The Tribune on Friday that following the in-principle approval received from the NHAI headquarters last year and canal closure notification issued by the state government on December 20 last, the work to construct four bridges over Sidhwan Canal had finally begun, but it could not progress much due to the issue of canal closure.

“I would take up the matter with the state and the district authorities to get sufficient closure of the canal that is required for undertaking the foundation and sub-structure works,” Arora assured.

Officials of the NHAI briefed Arora that 44 of the total 64 pile foundations had been completed, but due to non-continuous and short duration of canal closures, no substantial progress had been achieved in the project so far.

The NHAI regional office had allotted the construction work to a Bathinda-based firm at the cost of Rs 16.64 crore. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member in the Upper House from Punjab disclosed that as per the scope of work, 17.041-km-long four steel truss bridges at four locations — 1+700 (between Baklavi Restaurant and Paragon waterfront in Barewal Awana), 2+450 (in front of Sukhmani Enclave in Barewal Awana), 3+300 (in front of Baba’s Restaurant in Ayali Khurd), and 3+900 (in front of Bhalla’s house in Ayali Khurd) — over Sidhwan Canal on four-lane partial access controlled Ladhowal bypass from 0 to 17.041 km would be built on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode.

According to the scope of work, the new bridges would have a span of 34 metre in length and 11 metre width of main carriageway and 1.5 metre footpath on each side.

The timeline for the completion of four bridges had been fixed between April and November with the first bridge scheduled to come up by April 30, second and third by July 31, and the fourth to be completed by November 30, 2024.

“Your quoted bid price amounting to Rs 16,64,11,000 has been determined to be the lowest evaluated bid, substantially responsive and has been accepted by the competent authority,” the work order issued to the successful construction firm by the NHAI Deputy General Manager (Technical) Ankush Mehta read.

Arora said nine bids were received, which were examined and the most eligible one was awarded the project.

He said following the test pile work, the contractor had mobilised men and machinery to begin the foundation work at the site, which would progress further with the sufficient canal closure shortly.

A feasibility and alignment survey was conducted to prepare the detailed project report on the basis of which tenders were floated to award the work.

“The work would be completed within this year,” the Rajya Sabha MP said. The steel truss bridges would be constructed 300 metre away from the F2 Raceway bridge (both on its right and left sides) and 300 metre away from the Barewal bridge (both on its right and left sides) over Sidhwan Canal on the Ladhowal bypass.

“The bridges would help decongest the south city area which witnesses heavy vehicular traffic,” Arora said, while adding that the project would also help in improving road safety and convenience of commuters on national highways covered under the project.

Arora said the NHAI Chairman had kept his word on giving approval to the construction of four bridges over Sidhwan Canal.

MP’s push

“I had apprised the NHAI Chairman that construction of four bridges across Sidhwan Canal towards the south city in Ludhiana had yet to see the day of light for which application was pending with the NHAI since long. Ludhiana being one of biggest industrial cities in the country with over 5 million population, the traffic situation is getting chaotic due to pending projects,” said Arora.

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