By: Lawan Thakur
Mandi: After raking up controversy regarding construction of Mandi bus stand, HIMUDA has once again invited criticism for construction of another bus stand at Dharampur in Sarkaghat sub-division. Residents of the area have been complaining that while there is ample open land in the town, the bus stand is being constructed almost in the middle of Son river.
Being built at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore, locals fear that the area may any day be washed away as it gets inundated every time the river is in spate. As per revenue records too, the exact site of the bus stand is termed ‘Gair-mumkin khad’, which means it is a river area.
HIMUDA SDO Kushal Kumar, when contacted, himself admitted that the protection wall of the bus stand is just five metres from the river. Now, as per government norms, no construction can be made within 50 metres of any river.
Being constructed under NREGA, at least 40% of the work on the project is already over. There are allegations that HIMUDA is constructing the bus stand in violations of revenue department rules and also without permission from the local panchayat, PWD department, and also the mining department. Besides, so many other questions are also coming out regarding the selection of the site and approval of the same, the funds sanctioned, maps and estimates made, works allotted to HIMUDA and further given to contractors, etc.
The area is represented by transport minister Mohinder Singh. It remains to be seen if it ii over-enthusiasm of a minister to reward his area with unplanned development or politics of opportunism, but one thing is sure that precious public money is being wasted either way.