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Monday, 20 July 2020

Broken covers of drains on NH threat to commuters

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, July 19

Broken covers of drains on the National Highway-44 along with potholes during monsoon is posing a threat to the commuters.

Even the safety railings are missing at several places on the 70-km stretch within district limits. Even after spending crores on the project, drains are lying open at various places. Residents fear that the choked storm water drains could lead to accidents during the monsoon.

"We've brought the matter to the notice of the district administration and sent letters to the NHAI. The authorities should take action against the construction firm, as broken drains are causing mishaps," said Sahil Kumar, a local.

6-lane project not completed

  • In 2008, the NHAI had awarded Rs4,500-crore project to convert the road into six lanes from Panipat to Jalandhar
  • The construction firm claimed that they had completed the work on the sites, but still the project is lying incomplete
  • It got several extensions, but the work on 3-ft overbridges to be installed in the district limits has not been completed

Neeraj Sharma of Model Town blamed the construction company for not taking care of the NH even after charging exorbitant toll tax.

To make the NH-44 (NH-1 earlier) congestion-free, the NHAI, in 2008, had awarded the project costing Rs 4,500 crore to convert the road into six lanes from Panipat to Jalandhar, a stretch of 291 km, comprising 116 km of Haryana and 175 km of Punjab.

It was to be executed as tolled project on design-build-finance-operate (DBFO) basis for 15 years. The work was started in May 2009 by the Soma-Isolux company and it was to be completed by November 11, 2011. In April 2014, the SC had asked the company to complete the work by March 31, 2015.

After several extensions, the work of constructing 3-ft overbridges in the district limits, one each near Taraori, Karneshwar temple near Sector 7 and Kambopura village, was not finished.

Meanwhile, Sunny Sharma, engineer, highway maintenance wing of the Soma company, said:"Carpeting of the road is being done. Also, the process to install the overbridges has been started. The drains are being cleaned and repaired."

Karnal Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav, however, said instructions had been issued to the construction company to rectify the flaws on the NH-44.

from The Tribune

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