Year on, Jehangir Chowk-Natipora FLYOVER WORK YET TO START
Srinagar, Nov 1: A year on since Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah gave nod for construction of a flyover between Jehangir Chowk and Natipora, work on the express corridor is yet to start.
While the project executing agency –the Economic Reconstruction Agency(ERA) says –it “takes time to complete planning phase of such mega projects”, observers are worried about its timely completion.
In October, last year, Chief Minister approved the project saying it would be completed within three years at an estimated cost of Rs 256 crores.
Laying stress on integrated approach, taking on board all the line departments, the Chief Minister had called for “fullest preparedness before launching the work”.
The 4 lane divided carriage way elevated road from Jehangir Chowk to Natipora Chowk, as per the plan, will integrate with existing flyover with proposed express way at Jehangir Chowk for left turn from Dalgate to Rambagh.
Greater Kashmir learnt form reliable sources that while state government has approved the project, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is scheduled to fund it. But the funding, as per the sources, is dependant on rehabilitation of those whose establishments are coming in way of the project. And this is where the delay seems to be taking place.
Rehabilitation of the affected, as per officials, is a part of the work and is technically called Resettlement Plan.
“ABD funding is subject to resettlement of the affected families. And this is what is taking time,” said a senior ERA official at Civil Secretariat, requesting not to be named.
He said the relocation of shopkeepers and others coming in way of the proposed flyover was taking time as they had to be given a “compatible alternative.”
For the traders being affected in the Jehangir Chowk area, he said, they were expected to be rehabilitated in the adjacent government land, which earlier housed the Power Development Building gutted on September 11, this year. A shopping complex is to be constructed there, he added.
Similarly, as for the affected traders of Rambagh, Natipora belt the ERA eyes a government owned piece of land at Rambagh.
“Negotiations are on for both the sites,” he said adding that the Rehabilitation Plan was being finalized.
“Once the Rehabilitation Plan is completed vis-à-vis accepted by the ADB, the funds would pour in and the work will start.”
Given the past of ERA performance on delay in City projects, eyebrows are being raised over the execution of the upcoming project.
The fears sound more given the impact any misgiving could have on the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh track, the vital road link to the south City, which everyday witnesses huge flow of traffic.
“The work needs to be taken up seriously and speedily otherwise the entire south City traffic will be in a mess,” argues a retired engineer.
‘MORE PLANNING BENEFICIAL’
A ERA official associated with the project pleads the delay in work execution saying planning needs more time.
Referring to the developed countries, he said: “They spend 70% of the time in planning. And once that is well in place, it takes mere 30 % time to complete the work.”
“But in our state, it has often been the reverse because at times to appease those at the helm of affairs work is taken up hastily and it all ends up in a mess.”
* 256 crore project is dependant on ADB funding
*Funding awaits completion of formalities
*Resettle Plan a key requirement
*Land required for rehabilitation of traders
*Negotiations on over govt land at prime locations
Lastupdate on : Mon, 1 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 1 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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