Finally waking up to inordinate delay in construction of ring road in Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has initiated measures to fast track the development of 86- kilometer road link.
A senior government official informed that government has asked the executing agency National Highway Authority of India and concerned Deputy Commissioners to start land acquisition process on fast-track basis. “Land acquisition has been main hurdle, however now the government has decided to fast track the settlement of land issues with farmers in order to pave way for construction of the ring road,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that the action on this project has been followed after Greater Kashmir has carried a series on stories on the plight of this prestigious project Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid foundation of ring roads for Jammu and Kashmir regions. However Jammu ring road is near completion while as work on Kashmir’s ring road is yet to take off.
Land acquisition for construction of 86-kilometer ring road has been a bone of contention as post-abrogation of article 370 the land owners are seeking compensation as per the provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency under Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCTLARR Act 2013).
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.
The Srinagar ring road project is being executed by National Highway Authority of India.
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.