50 years on, Sanat Nagar-Rangreth road awaits widening

For the past five decades the vital Sanat Nagar-Rangreth road link is awaiting widening as successive governments have shelved this project resulting in massive traffic snarls on this road link which is frequently used by the Army.

The road stretch assumes significance as it leads to Rangreth Industrial Estate and houses several establishments including JAKLI center, GREF headquarters and Airforce Station. The road has been neglected by the successive state governments as the proposal to widen the stretch is pending since late 70’s.

“On an average to cover a distance of a kilometer, one has to wait for half an hour. This road link has become a nuisance for commuters. There are traffic snarls for hours as this road is frequently used by the Army. Also the development of colonies along the road has burdened it. The only viable solution is to widen it for which proposal has been made 50 years ago,” said Muntazir Nazir, a resident of Rawalpora.

Despite passage of nearly five decades, there has been no headway in the project.  Aghast over the failure of the authorities, the local residents have urged the Beacon authorities to take up its widening.

Chief Engineer Roads and Building Kashmir, Sami Arif Yesvi said that he would look into the matter. “I have recently assumed charge. I will talk to the concerned officials and find out the reason for its delay,” said Yesvi.

Residents of the Rangreth area have also formally written a letter to the Beacon authorities seeking their intervention.  “Despite pleading before Roads and building department officials for upgrading the road infrastructure on this stretch, there has been no positive response. We face lot of hardships as huge contingent of Army personnel and their convoys travel on it, leading to traffic snarls for hours together,” Muhammad Ubaid, a resident of Rangreth who is signatory to the letter addressed to the Beacon.

An official from public works department said that the plan to undertake four-laning of the stretch was envisaged in late 70s’ to cater to the increasing traffic movement. However, the project never materialized due to failure of officials to put up it in central funding project schemes. “The proposal has not seen the light of the day. In 70s’ and 80s’, the road from Barzulla Bhagat to Rangreth was used only by few vehicles of army and SRTC buses and hardly any private and public transport would ply on it. The breadth of the road has since then remained the same rather shrunk due to the encroachment of roadside at few places,” the official said.

The Sanat Nagar square on Bypass as per locals has become most vulnerable intersection as a number of fatal accidents have taken place there during last few years due to “faulty road engineering design”. Officials in Roads and Building department said that few years ago the proposal to widen the Sanat Nagar stretch up to Rangreth was proposed for funding under Central Road Funds.  “However, the proposal was rejected by the union ministry,” said an official, adding that “since then the government has not pursued the case and there is no proposal to widen this road”.