Residents of Ludhiana’s Haibowal area woke up to an unusual view recently as the bridge constructed at Buddha Nullah near main Haibowal Chowk was dotted with five distinct foundation stones. Although the sites were inaugurated in the name of local politicians during the tenures of different governments, people are still awaiting the promised development works in the area.
The fifth foundation stone was laid on the bridge recently by the local bodies minister, Inderbir Singh Nijjar, for the development of a road along the drain to the railway line. Other stones specified developments under Rs 650 crore Buddha Dariya Rejuvenation Project, Amrut scheme, and bioremediation project among other programmes, all under various government terms. One stone in the name of former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, was dismantled a few months back.
While it’s easy to put up foundation stones, the grievances of the local residents point out that the solution lies in the deliverance of promises made by the various governments in the past. Residents complain that different political parties have been using Buddha Dariya as an election issue and feel that all this ‘foundation stone politics’ is fooling them by taking their eyes of off the lack of development works and quality material in construction.
Minister Inderbir Singh Nijjar clarified that the focus is not on the stones, but on the development works. He assured that the road would be constructed within two months from the date of the foundation stone’s laying.
The Buddha Dariya Rejuvenation Project is a 300cr initiative to rejuvenate the Buddha Dariya river over 9 phases under the local MP Manish Tewari and former union minister Jairam Ramesh. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Gurpreet Gogi has also contributed towards the Amrut scheme as part of the project. While the project promises a better future for the area with its renewed purpose, the locals continue to wait until they actually feel the progress of such development works.