No headway in 4-laning of Boulevard Road

Envisioned in 2011, the much awaited 4-laning of Boulevard road project is in limbo as the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has failed to submit an environmental assessment report to the government.

In November 2017, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Dal monitoring conservation cell had directed LAWDA to consult the Nagpur-based NEERI considered an expert agency to prepare an environmental assessment report before initiating work on the four-laning project on Boulevard road.

“There is no delay from our side. We are waiting for NEERI’s environmental assessment report on this project. Until they won’t give their report, the work on this project won’t start,” said Chief Engineer, Roads and Buildings Department Kashmir, Showkat Ahmad.

Earlier the government had approached NEERI as environment experts had recommended assessment to know whether the project is feasible. The four-laning project had been formulated to ease vehicular movement on the Boulevard.

The Boulevard four-laning from Nehru Park to KralSangri would have a separate cycle track which would cost additional Rs 10 crore.

Under the project, the government has decided to widen the road from the UN Office Sonwar to KralSangri. However, in the first phase, the stretch from Nehru Park to KralSangri will be widened.

The width of the road is to be increased by eight meters on the hill side, leaving the Dal side untouched. “Funds have already been sanctioned for the project,” an official said.

An official informed that widening of the road from Nehru Park to KralSangri was taken up first as it did not require much money for land acquisition.

“As per our preliminary estimates, 12 shops and 6 houses are to be dismantled to pave way for widening the five kilometer stretch,” he said, adding that 43 kanals of state land would be utilized for the stretch.

Widening of the road, which at present is 22 feet, was announced by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on August 2, 2011. He had directed the R&B to start it on war-footing but the project did not take off.