Vital projects in Srinagar miss deadlines

Authorities have missed another deadline in completion of two vital bridges in Srinagar. The repeated missing of deadlines is taking a heavy toll on people.

The two vital projects, Mehjoor Nagar Bridge and Athwajan-Vethpora Bridge were scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2017.

Both bridges are vital as it would help in decongestion of various city roads and  provide relief to thousands of commuters to reach their respective distances within short time.

One of the projects which has witnessed inordinate delay includes Mehjoor Nagar bridge. Constructed over flood spill channel, the bridge was scheduled to be completed by June 26 this year.

“However, authorities failed to meet the deadline,” said Ghulam Hassan Bhat of Syed Abad Soiteng.

The bridge is vital as authorities closed old Mehjoor Nagar bridge on 1 February, 2017 after one of its pillars collapsed.

“It is ironical that despite missing the deadline, the work on the bridge usually remains standstill,” said Ali Muhammad, a resident of Mehjoor Nagar.

“The project was sanctioned many years ago. It was only due to public pressure that work on the bridge started in 2013,” said Ghulam Mohiudin of Lasjan.

Authorities had set 31 December 2017 as new deadline. “However, the completion of the bridge still seems as distant dream,” said Taheen a resident of Lasjan. 

Director Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) Satish Razdan, said that the project will be completed by the mid-February.

“Due to braid chopping incidents, most of the labourers working on this project left Kashmir. Later, due to cold the labourers were not ready to come back. We have pressurized contractor and asked him to complete it by mid-February,” he added.

Similarly, the Athwajan-Syed Abad Soiteng bridge has missed several deadlines. It again missed its latest deadline, 31 December 2017.

Presently, the work on the project is going at snail’s pace. The project is being executed by J&K Projects Construction Corporation Limited.

After failing to meet several deadlines, the government had assured on the floor of the house that the bridge will be completed by 31 March, 2017.

“It has become a routine for some authorities to initiate a project, construct some pillars or plinth and then leave it halfway,” said Shabir Ahmad, of Vethpora.

The construction of the bridge was started in 2011 and was scheduled to be completed in 2013. The pillars were constructed in 2011. “Since then, no progress has been witnessed on the project,” said Hakim Ali Muhammad, of Syed Abad Soiteng.

The delay in completion of Soiteng-Vethpara bridge over river Jhelum connecting it with Pandrethan has result in cost escalation of the project from Rs 720 lakhs to Rs 1359 lakhs, reveals official documents.

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