Rs 939 cr ring road project a non-starter in Kashmir

Despite passing of a year since Prime Minister NarendraModi laid foundation stone of the Rs 939 crore ring road in Kashmir, there has been no headway on the ambitious project.

PM NarendraModi laid foundation stone of Rs 939.41 crore semi-ring road project in Kashmir during his visit to J&K on 19 May 2018. However, no work has been done in last 12 months on the project due to a “dispute” on the land compensation.

According to a senior official of Public Works Department, the dispute between the government and the landowners over compensation rates is the “main hurdle”.

“However, the authorities could have expedited the process and worked out a solution so that the work on this project could have begun,” he said. “While in Jammu the ring road project has taken off, in Kashmir we are yet to acquire the land, not to talk of starting any work,” he said.

Project Director, National Highway Authority of India, GhulamQadir blamed the delay in acquiring the land for making the project a non-starter.

“It is a fact that no work has been done on this project because the land acquisition continues to be the main hurdle. Land owners are seeking higher rates for their land. This issue has been taken up with the higher officials of NHAI and the state government. Lets us see what happens,” he said.

According to the detailed project report, the ring road for Srinagar will start at Galander and meet the highway at Narbal Junction in its Phase-I. The road would be four-lane with six-lane future projection.

Under the Phase-II of the project, a two-way road will start at Narbal and meet in Ganderbal.

The project is likely to cost Rs 1195 crore in Phase-I and Rs 448 crore in Phase-II.

The road length in the Phase-I will be 34.72 kilometers and in the Phase-II 27.2 kilometers. There will be a Toll Plaza at Narbal Junction.

In the proposed four-lane road project from Galander to Narbal, there will be 155 culverts, two road-over bridges, two flyovers, five major junctions, 17 minor junctions and one Toll Plaza.

The two-lane road from Narbal to Ganderbal will have 135 culverts, five major junctions and nine minor junctions.

The projects should keep room for widening from four-lane to six-lane and from two-lane to four-lane to cater to future needs.

A revenue document reveals that Kashmir will lose 4730 kanals of agriculture land to the project. Semi ring road will take away 3661 kanals of agriculture land in Budgam, 379 kanals in Pulwama, 202 kanals in Srinagar, 150 kanals in Baramulla, 160 kanals in Bandipora and 176 kanals in Ganderbal.

Aggrieved farmers, whose land is being acquired for construction of the semi-ring road, have already expressed their resentment, citing loss of livelihood.