Govt Delaying to ‘save influential’ people; Jehan says have no funds

Boulevard road widening project 

SRINAGAR: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India has not released funds for much awaited Boulevard road widening project, despite lapse of two years since the proposal was forwarded to centre. 

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had approved the project on September-2, 2011 and had directed the concerned authorities to complete the project on fast track basis.

However, the Roads and Buildings (R & B) department J&K-which was facing financial crunch, approached the Ministry of Road Transport and High Ways, Government of India (GoI) with a proposal for funding this vital project.

“We had submitted a proposal to the Government of India for funding this project, but the funds are yet to be released. Around 28-crore have been sought for works, whiles as acquisition of land would cost double than the payment of works,” said Commissioner Secretary R&B Tanveer Jahan.

Meanwhile quoting sources KNS said that the road widening project was shelved several times by the government to save the property of some influential people that come under the proposed Boulevard road widening project.

The inordinate delay in implementing the project has been causing immense inconveniences to the common masses and tourists due to traffic congestion.

It has been learnt that the project proposal ran into rough weather as GoI was not showing any keen interest in releasing the funds from the day first since J&K government approached Road Transport and Highway for funding the project.

“Even J&K government was dithering to showing seriousness over pushing the GoI for releasing the funds due to some influential people, who are creating hindrances to implement the project,” officials said.

Earlier, the High Court had pulled up the state government over delay in Boulevard widening.

Several PILs were also filed in the High Court pleading why the government has failed to start work on this vital road, which has been causing immense inconveniences to the common masses and tourists due to traffic congestion.

Sources said the Boulevard widening project was taken up during the master plan of 1970, but nothing has been done till date.

They said to save the property of some influential people, the government had earlier decided to undertake road widening on the Dal Lake side. However, the government succumbed to the public pressure after some environmentalists, civil society members and the opposition PDP raised their concern, saying road widening on the Dal Lake side would prove disastrous to the water body. 

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