Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate two road projects in Punjab, CM Amarinder to preside

Hindustan Times, Bathinda | By
May 13, 2018 11:01 PM IST

The Union road transport and highways minister will inaugurate two road projects -- (NH-7, Bathinda-Zirakpur(NH 7) and Bathinda-Amritsar (NH54).

Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari’s visit to Bathinda on Monday will see him inaugurate the recently four-laned Bathinda-Zirakpur and Bathinda-Amritsar roads. Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh will preside over the launch function scheduled at the Thermal Colony stadium at 11.45am.

Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari(PTI File)
Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari(PTI File)

So, even as the roads will make residents’ lives easier, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders say that the foundation stone of the projects (NH-7, Bathinda-Zirakpur) and (NH-54, Bathinda-Amritsar) were laid during their regime in January 2015 and that the Congress wanted to take political mileage by organising the inauguration.

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To ensure they are not ignored, the SAD-BJP has scheduled a public meeting to be addressed by Gadkari to mark the occasion, at a private resort on the Bathinda-Goniana road, where they will also be mobilising the party cadre. On Sunday, SAD president and former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal held a meeting with party leaders on preparations for the event.

SAD sends two contradictory e-mails

Ahead of the inauguration, the SAD sent out two contradictory emails. In his communication, media coordinator Rajdeep Dod stated that Gadkari would be inaugurating the road project at the private resort. Another media coordinator Pushkar Kapil said, “Gadkari would only address a public meeting in the resort at 11am and the projects will be inaugurated in Thermal Colony, Stadium.”

Projects have cost Rs 6,100 crore

Meanwhile, in Chandigarh, public works department minister Vijay Inder Singla said the 217-km Zirakpur-Bathinda stretch had been laid at a cost of Rs 3,189 crore, while the Amritsar -Bathinda stretch of 175-km had been laid at a cost of Rs 2,894 cr. The Zirakpur-Patiala-Sangrur-Barnala-Bathinda section includes two Railway over-bridges and 16 fly-overs. Similarly, the project has one major bridge, 40 small bridges and seven foot over-bridges constructed in its way.

The road also has 32 major junctions and 212 smaller junctions for traffic de-congestion. It has a 138-km service road.

The Amritsar -Harike-Makhu-Zira-Talwandi-Faridkot-Kotkapura-Bathinda stretch of National Highway 54 has three railway over-bridges and five fly-overs. The stretch also includes three big bridges, 53 small bridges and one foot over bridge. There is a 45-km service lane. The project includes 31 major junctions and 171 small junctions.

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    Sachin Sharma is a senior staff correspondent, who covers crime, politics, rural civic issues and health in the Malwa region of Punjab.

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