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Singhpura flyover: Crawling pace of construction driving commuters up the wall

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Singhpura flyover: Crawling pace of construction driving commuters up the wall

Construction of the Singhpura flyover in Zirakpur has been ongoing for more than two years, causing disruption to commuters on the Chandigarh-Ambala route.

Even in June 2024, the project’s construction is still ongoing, having started in April 2022.

People who are driving to and from Delhi, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh are therefore burdened by the constant traffic jam, which can stretch for several km at a time.

The project has taken longer than eight months to complete than the initial 18-month timeline, according to project manager Chanchal Verma.

After missing its November target, the ₹45-crore project—which was supposed to reduce traffic—has instead made commuters’ and residents’ lives more difficult.

Singhpura local Rajan Singh declared, “The government should finish the project as quickly as feasible. Traffic is now more problematic as a result of its poor progress. Because of the protracted traffic jams and regular heavy traffic caused by the ongoing project, we hesitate before driving.

However, labourers at the building site asserted that it would require an additional year to finish the project.

Local businesses are disproportionately affected because parking is still a madhouse and food stall owners find it nearly impossible to draw consumers due to the dust from the construction.

Zirakpur trader Gurpreet Singh said, “My business has been reduced by 60-70%.” Traffic is a major issue. Parking and dust are two big problems that have decreased foot traffic. Residents and the business owners are hassled and want the construction to finish soon.”

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The slow pace of building was attributed by the workforce to unfavourable weather conditions.

Project director Pradeep Atri of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) asserted that a problem with land acquisition was the reason for the project’s delay. “To finish the construction of the motorway, a land possession dispute must be settled. In order to move forward with the project, we are awaiting a ruling on the land from the Supreme Court. The project has been put on hold for this reason. Our goal is to finish the project in three months,” he declared.

In response to a question concerning construction workers working in the sweltering heat without the appropriate safety gear, he stated that although workers are given security gear, they frequently do not want to use it.

Atri further attributed the heavy traffic on the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi highway—for which the NHAI has increased emergency and ambulance services—to the continuing farmers’ protest at the Shambhu-Ambala border.

Harinder Singh Mann, the superintendent of police (SP) for traffic in Mohali, however, also made the same argument. Traffic that has been rerouted as a result of the border blockade at Shambhu is making matters worse. Things are moving much more slowly because of all the cars passing through the work zone, he continued.

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