Little patchwork, Huge inconvenience
What have inflated the size of this monster are the Beacon projects like road widening and the concretization of a road stretch at HP gas plant Pampore
HIGHWAY BY MUHAMMAD TAHIR
For daily commuters travel on Srinagar-Jammu highway has become a real nightmare. Every five miles they face a monstrous vehicles jam, exhausting their wits. Tired local passengers and tourists can be seen resting their heads with window panes, occasionally opening their eyes to see if their vehicle had made any progress or not. What have inflated the size of this monster are the Beacon projects like road widening and the concretization of a road stretch at HP gas plant Pampore.
The concretization work on 150 meter stretch at Pampore was started last year in September and only one side of the road has been completed so far. When contacted the Beacon officials refused to give information about the project cost and the stipulated period of its completion. But, according to the sources, the Beacon is in the process of handing over the work to Ramky, a Hyderabad based Construction Company, which is making the new four lanes Highway in Kashmir.
“We are not going to take up the remaining portion for concretization unless the Beacon makes commitment of project payment.” Says a Company official.
According to the experts, the Beacon, over the years, has become inefficient when it comes to timely and efficient execution of works. Citing the Highway widening project as an example, they say that work is done in patches and is taking too much time. At several places the level of macadamized widened portion is higher than the main road which is going to create problems during rains when water will be logged in the middle of the road.
“There were no measures taken to explore alternative routes for vehicles plying on the Highway, though there were options available.” Says Irfan, a concerned citizen of the town, further elaborating: “Pulwama bound vehicles could have easily been diverted via Kadalbal Bridge. Similarly, some of the Srinagar bound vehicles could have been diverted through newly constructed Lethapora-Ladhoo road which connects with the Highway at Drangbal Pampore. This would have eased the traffic at the project site. But, that nothing of this sort was done clearly shows that there is lack of coordination between government departments during execution of public works, because of which common people have to suffer.”
“Major tourist resorts fall in South Kashmir and it is here that tourists stuck in traffic jams” says Abid Maqbool Bhat, Deputy Director (Publicity) Tourism Department, “Our tourists face difficulties because of these unnecessary bottlenecks that have been created on the main highway. Concerned authorities should have taken necessary measures to avoid this mess. This has a negative impact on our tourism as tourists go home talking about these problems”.
Sanjay (name changed on request), a senior civil engineer believes, “It was a work of just few weeks, why it has taken so much time is hard to understand. Senior officials of the Beacon should get involve in this project”. According to him the Beacon as an expert agency in road repair and maintenance has not lived up to its name; there is something wrong with its working.
According to higher officials of Beacon the concretized portion will be fully thrown open for traffic in a week or two as the remaining concrete cells need time for casting. And when the work on the remaining side of the road is taken up, no one can tell.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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