Bukhari clears Rs 3500 Cr road projects

Panthachowk road widening to finish by Aug

SRINAGAR, JULY 7: Minister for PWD (R&B), Floriculture, Gardens and Parks, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today visited Panthachowk to review the progress of work on removal of bottlenecks and road widening in the area. He said the road widening would be completed in this vital area within two months as most of the chronic bottlenecks have been already removed.

The Minister said work is being expedited on upgradation of Srinagar-Jammu highway and the ambitious project is likely to be commissioned by next year. He said given the sluggish performance of the project contractors, the Government has changed RAMKY with Project Management Unit to ensure speedy completion of the project and provide assured all-weather connectivity to Kashmir.

The Minister said that the Government of India has also approved two ring road projects for the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu at a total project cost of Rs 3500 crore. He said the accomplishment of these ambitious projects would go a long way towards decongestion of traffic movement in these cities.

The Minister was informed that while almost all the structures in the area earmarked for widening have been acquired and removed, the R&B Department is going to acquire and remove all the structures along the Jhelum Bund to fully open the river front from Pampore to Panthachowk. He was told that besides cash compensation the affected shopkeepers have been allotted alternate shops for their rehabilitation.

Seeking cooperation of the people for removal of structures to facilitate road widening in the area for smooth traffic movement, the Minister asked the property holders to remove the structures which come under road widening plan as soon as possible. He said if there are any genuine issues involved in the acquisition process with the property owners same would be resolved by the revenue and R&B authorities at the earliest. He said a committee has already been constituted under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Srinagar for the rehabilitation of the affected property owners.

The Minister said that streamlining of traffic movement at the two crucial entry points to the Srinagar city – Panthachowk and Shalteng – has remained a major challenge for the administration. He said immediately after the present government assumed office in March this year, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed issued clear cut instructions to the R&B Department to facilitate hassle-free traffic movement on these key junctions using all the resources at the Department’s command. He said the Chief Minister also released Rs 10 crore for acquisition of structures from Panthachowk to Zewan facilitating removal of most of the structures from the area for road widening.

Earlier, the Minister took extensive tour of various areas of Srinagar city including Bye Pass, Qamarwari, Parimpora, Jawahar Nagar etc. to take stock of the illegal post flood construction of commercial buildings which is Rampant in almost in all flood affected areas of the city. He urged the authorities to take immediate action against the culprits. He said that Government has not imposed any restriction on construction of flood affected residential houses.

A number of delegations interacted with the Minister at Panthachowk area and put forth their demands. The Minister assured them that their genuine demands would be redressed on priority.

Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir Mr S K Razdan and other officers of R&B and Revenue Departments accompanied the Minister.

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