Published September 9, 2012 | 5:53 pm
Ludhiana: Ludhiana is all set for the launch of the Rs 10,300 cr metro rail project. But the concerned residents of Punjab are wandering does Ludhiana really need a metro or other basic amenities?
Politics has started brewing over the ambitious Ludhiana metro rail project, with the opposition accusing the MC officials of ignoring crucial projects of public importance by being busy with the metro project.
District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan said, “The Ludhiana MC has failed to provide basic amenities to people in city and is working only on the metro project. They are dependent on the central government for funds as they don’t have their own resources for the metro,” Dewan said.
He added that, “The MC is not able to complete projects like Lakkar Bridge, Buddha Nullah etc. and the officials are busy in conducting surveys for it. The other projects of public importance are being ignored by them.”
Punjab Congress president and former chief minister, Amrinder Singh had also issued a statement at a rally that Ludhiana need other basic development projects instead of metro.
The plan to introduce Metro in Ludhiana was first conceived in 2007 by the SAD-BJP government but the project has remained active only on paper since then. After making a comeback in assembly polls it has become incumbent on Akali government to make it a reality.
The Punjab Government has passed a budget of Rs 10,300 crore for the metro project which is based on Public-private partnership and a part of the project cost will have to be met by the state government already facing financial crunch.
The state government and the administration may be serious about the implementation of the metro project. But they face major obstacles. The first challenge is arranging funds in a cash strapped state and the second is acquisition of land for the stations. Busy, settled areas like Arti Chowk, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran and Samrala Chowk are to be part of the first phase.
The Congress and other political parties describes the project as a political stunt and completely unnecessary.
Some political pundits feel that instead of doing any good the project will bring bad repute to the government as thousands of people will have to give up homes, shops and offices.
Even many predict the project will never be completed due to cash crunch and will only add to the traffic chaos of the city.