Decade on, 4-laning of Boulevard Road fails to take off

Despite passing of nearly a decade, authorities are yet to start work on four-laning of Boulevard Road.

In 2011, the then government took up the project of 4-laning of the Boulevard road. Officials of Roads and Buildings (R&B) department said that the 4-laning project is lingering for want of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.

“A Nagpur based institute called National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) was supposed to submit the environment assessment report to the government which is pending till date. The Boulevard road is on the banks of Dal and in such projects environment clearance and submission of such reports is vital,” he said

The officials said that initially that R&B department which is the concerned department for the project had started the work. “But the work had to be stopped as the NEERI report was pending,” he said.

In 2017, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Dal lake monitoring cell had directed LAWDA to consult NEERI to prepare an EIA report so that the work on the project could be started in full swing.

Nadeem Qadri an environmental Lawyer said that as the court has sought EIA report, the department will have wait for it before starting the work. He said that being in an eco-sensitive zone, the report from NEERI will have recommendations so that work can be started with minimal disturbance to eco system.

“I have myself followed it and was among the people who recommended that environment assessment report. Environment assessment report is vital because it does not only give recommendation but also helps to lay down environmental management plan (EMP). EMP is very important as it helps in compensating the environmental imbalance that often causes during the project,” he said.

Chief Engineer R&B, Showket Jeelani said that there is no progress on the project.

“Once the environmental assessment report is submitted, the work will start. From the departmental side there is no issue, we had completed all the formalities. The tendering process and other formalities were done and we even had started the work but everything had to be stopped as the NEERI report was pending,” he said.

Under the project, the government has to widen the road from the UN office Sonwar to Kral Sangri. In the first phase, the road from Nehru park to Kral Sangri will be widened. The Boulevard 4-laning project from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri would have a separate cycle track. The track is estimated to cost additional Rs 10 crore. The project is said to be vital for face lifting of Boulevard area which a tourist hub and will help in smoothening traffic flow.