Srinagar, Dec 10: Amid the population of vehicles outpacing the length of roads in Srinagar, the construction of much-awaited grade separators along Srinagar expressway bypass on National Highway-44 has been put in cold storage.
In 2020, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) stepped in to take over the construction of proposed three grade separators along Bypass here at an estimated cost of Rs 135 crore. The move came after the central government approved Rs 574.16 crore annual plan 2020-21 for national highway works in J&K.
The major works to be undertaken under the plan include construction of 3.23 km three flyovers in Srinagar on NH-44 (Jammu-Srinagar highway) at Bemina, Sanat Nagar and Nowgam at a cost of Rs 135 crore.
The NHAI has submitted a detailed project report to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, which is awaiting approval even after one year.
“ We have submitted the DPR and now we are awaiting funds from the central government,” said an NHAI official .
The three grade separators along the national highway are proposed to be constructed at busy junctions at Sanat Nagar, Nowgam and Bemina.
The project was earlier to be funded by the Asian Development Bank. Later it was decided that the central government will fund the project and NHAI will execute its works.
NHAI is currently working on overhead bridge near the Lasjan area on NH44, which will be finished soon.
The construction of grade separators as per the engineers is the only viable solution to ease the traffic congestion at these junctions particularly at Sanat Nagar crossing.
Sanat Nagar crossing has now become an unbearable inconvenience for the commuters, who get stuck up in the jam for hours, leaving them exhausted in desperation to reach their respective destinations in time.
The problem gets amplified by the haphazardly parked cars outside food joints, bakery shops and departmental stores on the southern side of the bypass.
The road corridor witnesses huge numbers of vehicles coming from northern and southern parts of Kashmir.
They said that the high vehicular and pedestrian movement act as barriers to redevelopment and growth of the area.
The proposed project is part of a long term plan of the J&K government to improve urban transport facilities in the summer capital.
As per the proposal, the construction shall remove traffic congestion along the highway and also decrease the number of road accidents frequently witnessed on the important road corridor.