Delay in shifting of utilities hinders Shalteng highway widening
GK CITY CORRESPONDENT
Srinagar, Aug 9: Despite a hue and cry over traffic chaos on the Parimpora-Shalteng highway, the road widening work under taken by Beacon is being hampered due to delay in the shifting of utilities like electric poles and water supply lines from the site, officials disclosed.
Everyday thousands of people travelling down the highway which connects to the north Kashmir and Muzaffarabad have to bear with the traffic jams in the Shalteng stretch as it’s yet to be widened to four lanes.
THE DELAY IN SHIFTING
The Beacon, which has recently taken over the work as the “contractor failed to complete it in time since 2008,” said the state government departments have failed in the timely shifting of the utilities coming in way of the road widening.
Pertinently some electric poles, water supply lines and a pump station are yet to be shifted from the middle of the upcoming highway thereby affecting the work progress.
“There are some bottlenecks particularly shifting of utility. We provided amount to the respective departments for shifting of electric poles and water pipes. But the progress appears slow,” a Beacon official said.
The official said that Rs 181.5 crore has been given to Revenue department for shifting of houses coming in way of widening process. “An additional amount of Rs 20 crore has been demanded but the assessment report hasn’t been received by the organization,” he added.
THE BEACON ENDEAVOUR
On Monday Chief Engineer of the Project Beacon Brigadier TPS Rawat said 25 % of the work has been completed since Beacon took over it in July 2001 when the contract with the private firm was cancelled.
Sources said the Divisional Commissioner Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon asked Beacon authorities to complete it on war footing. But the shifting of utilities is the latest hindrance.
Observers said given the fast approaching winter, the work on the remaining 75 percent work needs to be geared up.
“The Beacon should further gear up the work so that the traffic congestion in the area which has attracted frequent embarrassment for the state government is avoided,” said a retired chief engineer pleading anonymity.
He however said the work could only be further geared up only when the utilities are shifted at an earliest.
Near Shalteng, the problem is that the single lane road provides a crossing towards Bandipora road and also towards the Baramulla highway, which furthers to frontier Uri, Kupwara and even Muzaffarabad.
Some three lakh vehicles ply on the highway everyday while the rush is most at the peak hours, the office opening and closing timings thereby furthering the congestion.
The residents of Baramulla and other adjoining districts have often been complaining that their considerable time goes waste in the travel to Srinagar or back because of the jams en route.
In the peak hours the chaos is such that the “staff starved” Traffic police finds it difficult to manage the traffic alone and so even the SP West Dr Sunil Kumar and his team, are often seen trying to regulate the vehicular flow.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 9 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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