Srinagar: Despite passing of nearly a decade, work on the four-laning of Boulevard Road is yet to take off.
Officials claim that the pending Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project has resulted in delay in starting work on the project.
In 2011, the then government had taken up the project of 4-laning of the Boulevard road. "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 project being in the eco-sensitive zone, needs environment clearance and submission of such reports are vital," an official said.
Pertinent to mention that the R&B department, which is the concerned department for the project, had started the work but the work had to be stopped due to the absence of the report. "Had it not been for the report, we would have bought the project to its conclusion,” he added.
Earlier the department had gone ahead with the project, but 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.
The officials said that it was observed the department will have to wait for it before starting the work. The eco-sensitive nature of the project had made the report necessary. The officials said that being in an eco-zone, the report from NEERI will have recommendations so that work can be started with minimal disturbance to the ecosystem.
Chief Engineer R&B, ShowketJeelani said that there is no progress on the project. “And the only reason is the pending EIA report.”
"The project has not progressed due to the absence of the report. Once the environmental assessment report is submitted, the work will start. We had even started the work but then on court directions we had to stop and wait for the NEERI report. From the departmental side, there is no issue, we had completed all the formalities. " he said.
Under the project, the government has to widen the road from the UN office Sonwar to KralSangri. In the first phase, the road from Nehru Park to KralSangri will be widened. The Boulevard 4-laning project from Nehru Park to KralSangri 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.