Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 20. Fresh tender bids for the state government’s ambitious personal rapid transport system (PRTS) project will be opened tomorrow.
The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) had invited fresh bids in view of the alterations in the PRTS route following apprehensions by heritage lovers that the then design may take a toll on the walled city’s architecture and its historic landmarks.
Sources said the PIDB had invited bids for the project through an advertisement dated February 22, 2013.
They said the last date for receiving the bids was April 26, which was later extended till May 21. This means it may take another few months for the work to begin on the ground.
Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said the tenders will be opened tomorrow and the work will be awarded after a comparative analysis of the bids, which may take a month or so. He said the due process had to be followed once the PRTS route was changed.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal had laid the foundation stone of the project amid much fanfare in December 2011, but the project has made a little headway ever since.
In July last, The Tribune had highlighted the concerns of the heritage lovers that the project will eclipse the view of the holy city’s landmarks like the Jallianwalla Bagh and the Golden Temple. The government later changed the route plan from the railway station to the Golden Temple.
Under the new plan, the guideway for the PRTS will not enter the walled city through Hall Gate. Instead, it will take a left turn towards Chitra Cinema and get into the city through Rambagh Chowk
From there, it will pass through Bijliwala Chowk to reach Katra Jaimal Singh before heading towards the Golden Temple
There is also a plan that the guideway will span across the approach road to the Jallianwalla Bagh and the Golden Temple to facilitate the clear view of these landmarks
The height of the guideway will be raised to 30 feet on both these stretches, as against the height of 20 feet in other sections of the route
Similarly, the other route from the Inter State Bus Terminal to the Golden Temple will pass through Maha Singh Gate to reach the Saragarhi Parking before heading towards the Golden Temple