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RTI activist exposes anomalies in smart road project, demands probe

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Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19

A local RTI activist has exposed several anomalies in the implementation of the smart road project. Suresh Sharma, former AAP district president and RTI activist, revealed that with the funds of the Centre and the Punjab Government, the smart road project was approved for Rs 118.64 crore to develop the outer ring road around the walled city.

“The contractor had to establish a testing laboratory in 250 square feet before starting the work, which was not done by the contractor. After checking the material in the laboratory, the roads were to be constructed. In this way, all the roads were built without testing by the contractor. A separate agency was to be hired for the testing, which was not roped in. Around Rs 50 crore have been spent to construct road using inferior material without testing. Due to which the roads are scattered at many places”, alleged Suresh Sharma.

He alleged that old sewer system supposed to be replaced with new sewer line on the outer ring road and new pipes were to be installed, but the contractor just cleaned the old sewer lines. The wires of the entire Ring Road were supposed to be laid underground, but the work was done on the stretch of 2 km only. A report of 95 per cent project completion was sent by the Superintending Engineer of the MC, while several works mentioned in the tender notice were pending. Vending zones were made but 614 vends not installed. Bus shelters, bus bays, auto bays, table top (road junctions) were not installed. Old toilets have not been repaired and no toilet have been constructed. Dustbins, traffic signals, tree guards were yet to be installed.

Sharma said, “The connivance of the contractor and officials has caused a huge loss to the Central Government. I will submit a report on this matter to the Central Vigilance and Central Housing and Urban Development Ministry and demand a vigilance inquiry.”

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