3 YRS ON,ADMIN SLEEPS ON DEFUNCT HIGHWAY LIGHTING

Mishaps, burglaries on rise as Athwajan-Parimpora bypass stretch continues to reel under deadly darkness

SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI

Srinagar, May 28: Despite threat to life and property of the people, the administration has miserably failed to repair the streetlights on the busy south City highway, which reels under deadly darkness every night for the past over three years.
 With this being the government concern towards the vital stretch of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway, which caters to thousands of vehicles every hour, the plight of other roads could only be imagined.
 Even though scores of accidents have occurred at night because of the darkness and crimes like theft have been on rise in the area, a breakthrough is awaited.
 The concerned including the Power Development Department (PDD) and the Roads and Building Department look unmoved towards the allegedly deadly negligence.
 The officials plead the negligence saying a deadlock between the PDD and the project executing agency, which installed the lights was cause of the darkness.
 In 2008 a prominent Kashmir-based firm into power business had bagged the lighting work for the 17-Km stretch of the highway as a part of the widening from 2-lane to 4-lane.  The work, as per insiders, was scheduled to be completed in 9-months.
 But given the chronic delay in highway widening, only patches of the project could be completed. For the matter of delay in the highway widening, the 18-month project being executed by R&B, is still incomplete.
 The firm says after commissioning of the lights on the ready sites a problem erupted when some of the costly devices including transformers regulating the power network were stolen from time-to-time.  Though the issue was brought into the notice of PDD officials, no action was taken.
 The PDD says the private firm was responsible to take care of the installed equipment while the later threw the ball back. Thereafter there remained a deadlock. Sources said even though the contract has a clause of appointing arbitrator in case of a dispute, the administration has been sleeping over the issue.
 Ironically though in the past years the then Divisional Commissioner Kashmir held meetings after meetings to review the highway widening, the deadly darkness on the highway seems to have been ignored.
 When contacted the District Development Commissioner Srinagar Er Farooq Ahmed Shah said the matter has come to his notice.
 “Lights will be set into order at an earliest,” he added.

WHY INCOMPLETE FACILITIES INAUGURATED AMID HYPE?
In the past four-odd years, the ruling coalition many times went for inauguration of incomplete facilities in the City seemingly to avoid embarrassment over delay in project execution.
 The Hyderpora flyover is one such example. After some five years of chronic delay, the facility was thrown open for people by the ruling National Conference in 2011. But nobody remained concerned about lighting of the concrete structure.
 Till now vehicles ply on the curved flyover in darkness while accidents, as per complainants, have been a regular feature on the public facility.
 The flyover was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah in presence of senior officials. But the facility is still incomplete if lighting is vital for safe driving.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 28 May 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 28 May 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 IST




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