Much awaited work on four-laning of Boulevard road along the famed Dal Lake is likely to be begin soon, as the state government is now awaiting nod from High Court after Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) cleared decks for initiating work on the project, officials informed.
Officials said that earlier the Roads and Buildings department has sought NOC from LAWDA for undertaking widening of road link from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri along Dal Lake here.
"LAWDA has given No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Roads and Development department for initiating the work," officials said.
Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings Department Kashmir, Sheikh Abdul Hamid said that the work on four-laning of Boulevard road will be undertaken soon.
"We have already got NOC from LAWDA and forwarded it to the Monitoring Committee headed by Chief Secretary which would then submit their report to the High Court for its nod to this project," he said.
" R&B department cannot undertake work on this project unless the High Court allows as all constructions along Fore Shore road needs consent from HC," he said adding that they already submitted all NOCs and it is likely that HC would get approval for undertaking work on this prestigious road project.
"Funds have already been sanctioned for this road project," he adds.
The government has approved the project of four-laning the road from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri with an estimated cost of Rs 33 crore. The road would have separate cycle track which would cost additional Rs 10 crore.
With a view to ease traffic movement, the government has decided to widen road from UN Office Sonwar to Kral Sangri, however in the first phase stretch from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri would be widened.
The width of the road is to be increased by eight meters on the hill side, leaving the Dal side untouched.
The previous government had proposed to construct a cantilever on the Dal Lake to widen it on both sides, but after facing public outcry, the plan was shelved as environmentalists pointed out that constructing a cantilever would mean "encroachment" of the Dal.
"Four laning of the road has been undertaken under Central Road Fund," said a senior R&B engineer.
He added that widening of road from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri was taken up first as it does not require much money for acquisition of land.
"As per our preliminary estimates, 12 shops and 6 houses are to be dismantled to pave way for widening the 5 km stretch," he said, adding that 43 kanals of state land would be utilized for four laning of the stretch.
Further, the road would have a cycle track on European pattern. "It is for the first time that there would be a separate cycle track in JK and for that we have submitted a DPR of Rs 10 crore," he said, adding that carving out a separate cycle track was the brainchild of former Chief Minister late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
The official added that widening of road from Dalgate to Nehru Park requires huge funds for acquisition as on the stretch many hotels, showrooms and shops are to be demolished for paving way for widening of the road.
Widening of the road, which at present is 22 feet wide, 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 work was not started.