Festive rush: With construction project deadlines zipping by, expect traffic to crawl in Ludhiana - Hindustan Times
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Festive rush: With construction project deadlines zipping by, expect traffic to crawl in Ludhiana

By, Ludhiana
Oct 13, 2022 11:56 PM IST

Vehicular movement was already affected on Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road due to the construction of an elevated road, railway overbridge (ROB) and underbridges (RUBs), but a road cave in near Ishmeet Singh Chowk has exacerbated matters, bringing traffic to a crawl.

Chock-a-block roads, traffic snarls and bottlenecks are likely to be the order of the day this festive season with several ongoing construction projects, many of which have breezed past their deadlines, causing clogs in arterial roads of the industrial hub.

Vehicular movement was already affected on Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road due to the construction of an elevated road, railway overbridge (ROB) and underbridges (RUBs), respectively, but a road cave in near Ishmeet Singh Chowk has exacerbated matters, bringing traffic to a crawl. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Vehicular movement was already affected on Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road due to the construction of an elevated road, railway overbridge (ROB) and underbridges (RUBs), respectively, but a road cave in near Ishmeet Singh Chowk has exacerbated matters, bringing traffic to a crawl. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Vehicular movement was already affected on Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road due to the construction of an elevated road, railway overbridge (ROB) and underbridges (RUBs), respectively, but a road cave in near Ishmeet Singh Chowk has exacerbated matters, bringing traffic to a crawl.

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Diversions and detours

With road stretches being closed for construction or repair work, diversions and detours are a routine affair. However, the diverted vehicles add to the traffic congestion on roads, especially during peak hours, stretching the duration of commute.

Authorities have closed a stretch of Pakhowal Road near the railway crossing for construction of the ROB. Thus, motorists coming from Malhar Road are being diverted to the Shastri Nagar Railway Crossing, and those moving towards Pakhowal Road from Bhai Bala Chowk have to take a detour from Model Town Extension or Sarabha Nagar to reach their destinations.

Commuters were left with still fewer routes after a road cave-in near Shastri Nagar railway crossing on September 21. The road has been closed for repairs for three weeks, and traffic is being diverted through Kochar Market Chowk, and Pakhowal Road RUB (near Leisure Valley in Sarabha Nagar).

Dug-up roads, bad timing

Municipal corporation (MC) officials opened the Shastri Nagar railway crossing on a temporary basis on Thursday, but snarls continued to be seen on the road as a major portion of the road has been dug up for repair work, which officials say may take up to a week.

As if the ongoing projects weren’t enough of a hassle for commuters, MC authorities have simultaneously started reconstructing Gill Road, and laying pipelines Sarabha Nagar under the 24/7 water project. Similarly, different National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) projects, including construction of flyovers and ramps on Sherpur Chowk and Tibba Road have been delayed, due to which commuters are bearing the brunt.

Vehicles everywhere, nowhere to park

Shortage of parking spaces due to illegal construction, and haphazard, illegal parking along road sides is a major reason for traffic snarls in major markets of the city, including Ghumar Mandi, Jawahar Nagar Camp, BRS Nagar, and Model Town. Meanwhile, the civic body’s proposal to establish temporary parking sites near markets during the festival season has failed to see the light of the day. The proposal was mooted a few years back, but no concrete steps were taken to implement it.

Encroachments galore

Encroachments by shopkeepers and street vendors during the festival season in markets, including Model Town, Gol Market, Field Ganj, Jawahar Nagar camp, and Ghumar Mandi, frequently result in bottlenecks. Despite the daily traffic chaos in the markets, MC officials seem to be turning a blind eye to the issue. At some points, shopkeepers have encroached upon 8-10 feet of land outside their shops.

What commuters say

Commuters are a harried lot, spending hours stuck in traffic. Vineet, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, says, “Construction work has been taking place in and around Sarabha Nagar for a long time now, and traffic jams are taking a toll on commuters.

Authorities should only take up projects after proper planning so that commuters are not harassed. Model Town Extension resident Balpreet Singh blames shopkeepers’ encroachments in Model Town, Gol market, Ghar Mandi, and Field Ganj for the traffic chaos.

“At least, 15-20 minutes are wasted in traffic. Strict action should be taken against shopkeepers and vendors encroaching on the road outside shops,” he said.

Officials brainstorm

Hoping to streamline traffic and reduce congestion on roads, deputy commissioner (DC) Surabhi Malik and MLA (Ludhiana West) Gurpreet Gogi met MC, NHAI, and traffic police officials at the DC complex on Thursday.

Officials said the aim of the meeting was to expedite ongoing projects and plan projects in pipeline so that movement of traffic is not hampered further. MC commissioner Shena Agarwal, and NHAI project directors were among the attendees.

Malik said early completion of projects, including elevated road project on Ferozepur road, shifting poles that are impeding construction works, removal of encroachments and construction debris was taken up.

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