Satwari-Kunjwani road widening continues to be messy

The much awaited widening of the Satwari- Kunjwani road continue to be chaotic as the work on three phase project is going on at snail’s pace.
Satwari-Kunjwani road widening continues to be messy
File Photo

The much awaited widening of the Satwari- Kunjwani road continue to be chaotic as the work on three phase project is going on at snail's pace. 

 Due to sluggish work, locals of the area continue to face dusty conditions and traffic congestion on the vital road that connects winter capital with peripheral areas and two adjoining districts of Samba and Kathua.

The project has already missed several deadlines and is likely to face further delay as the two phases of project are yet to be completed. 

"While 2 percent work of the Phase II is pending, which also include utility shifting at some places, the widening work on 0.5 kilometer under the phase III is yet to be started" sources said.  

According to PWD (R&B) Department officials, the work on the project has been delayed as many locals have moved to courts over less compensation and other issues. 

The road widening project of 3.60 Kms stretch starting from Kunjwani is part of the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway and is being executed in three phases at a cost of Rs 50.20 Crore. 

The widening of the highly busy Kunjwani square to Satwari square was taken up under CRF in view of its dilapidated condition and growing public                       outcry. 

To decongest the 3.60 kms road, R&B Department prepared estimates for its up-gradation   from 02 lanes to 04 lanes with deep concrete drains on either side and submitted the same to GoI for providing funds under CRF scheme. 

However, the Government of India approved the funds for completing the project in three phases.   

Work under Phase-I involving a cost of Rs. 19.49 Crores was started in March 2011 and has been completed by recording full expenditure. 

Similarly, the work under Phase II costing Rs 14.71 Crore was started in March 2013 but the executing agency missed March 2015 deadline set for its completion.  

Executive Engineer R&B Department, Mohammad Abdullah   said, "About 98% of the physical work has been done under the Phase-II. We have to construct 2 sub ways along with the up-gradation of the road under Phase-II. One of the subways is nearing completion, while the work on internal finishing of the other is pending which will be completed soon", Abdullah said. He added that against Rs 14.71 Crore sanctioned for the phase-II, Rs. 14.65 Crore has been expended so far. 

Under Phase-III, he said, the RBM filling, Cutting work is done while the walling, construction work on service lane and widening work on a small portion of 0.5 Km stretch is pending, "which could not be taken up due to some issues with the locals who have moved to court and secured stay on the work". 

He said that against the estimated cost of Rs 16 Crore for Phase-III, an amount of Rs. 3.50 Crore was released last month.  

"Out of Rs 7.35 crore earmarked for the shifting of utilities like telephone lines of BSNL, OFC cables, electric poles and lines of PDD, water supply pipe lines and cutting of trees, an amount of Rs.3.73 crore have been paid while payment of Rs. 3.62 crore is pending", Abdullah said. 

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