Work on Bhandari ROB expansion leading to chaos, residents harried

Work on Bhandari ROB expansion leading to chaos, residents harried

Work under progress for the expansion of Bhandari Railway overbridge in Amritsar. vishal kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 23

Commuters have been facing inconveniences due to traffic bottlenecks around the Bhandari railway overbridge (ROB). The Amritsar Improvement Trust is all set to construct two additional lanes of 31-foot each at a cost of Rs14 crore.

The city is divided into two parts by the railway line and three bridges, Bhandari ROB, Rego bridge and Hussainpura ROB, connect the two parts. The focus of the authorities was only on development of the Bhandari ROB. Balram Kumar Sharma, president of Punjab Sudhar Sabha (PSS), said development of infrastructure to resolve traffic chaos required holistic approach. Instead of bringing more traffic on the Bhandari ROB, focus must be on options to divert the flow, he said.

He said after operationalisation of the BRTS loop on the Bhandari bridge and its linking with the railway link road, traffic on the bridge has increased. Traffic jams were occasional on the stretch in the past. He said the ROB at Hussainpura Chowk, situated next to the Bhandari ROB, has got only two lanes, unlike multi-level roads on the Bhandari ROB. These should be expanded and linked to the proposed elevated road at the SSSS Chowk, he said. It would help ease traffic coming from Jandiala and New Amritsar side, he said. Similarly, vehicles coming from Batala and Majitha roads would enter the city via SSSS Chowk, instead of Bhandari ROB.

The Mahavir ROB, popularly known as Rego Bridge, which connects the GT Road with the Gobindgarh Fort has outlived its life and needed to be reconstructed. This will divert vehicles going to the western areas of the city from the Bhandari ROB, he said.

Last year, the Railways had written to the Amritsar Municipal Corporation (AMC), requesting to stop the entry of heavy vehicles to the Mahavir ROB as it had become unsafe. The design for the new ROB had already been approved by the Railways and funds are awaited.

Dinesh Bassi, chairman of the AIT, said the expansion of the Bhandari ROB was being undertaken at a war footing and would be completed by December. He said the Trust was constructing an ROB at 22 number railway crossing. Bassi said he would table the matter of reconstruction of Rego bridge in the forthcoming meeting with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

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