Too many cooks spoil the broth, City Gate turns into death-trap

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Will be completed by 2050 under current pace: Shopkeepers

SRINAGAR: The city entry gate leading to the old town (Downtown) has turned out to be major accident prone area in the Srinagar city as the sluggish pace at which it’s being constructed has frustrated the one and all.

A few days back, a serious mishap injured three people with two of them succumbing to their injuries later on.

The foundation of the gate located at Baba Dembh in the heart of Srinagar was laid way back in 2011 and it was announced the structure would be completed within two years. Five years on, the gate is yet to be completed though.

“The construction going on at the moment is frustratingly slow,” said a shopkeeper, Abdul Majeed. “The workers don’t show up for months together.”

“On this pace, the gate is likely to be completed by 2015,” Majeed jeered at the authorities. “The concrete pillars erected in the middle of the road have become a major cause of frequent accidents.”

Many agencies including SMC, LAWDA, R&B, UEED and Tourism are involved in the construction of the gate. “In 2011, the NC government sanctioned 1.20 crores for its construction, since then no major construction has taken place. The gate is a part of beautification plan of Brari Nambal lagoon,” another shopkeeper said.

“These pillars have choked the road here. Accidents and frequent traffic jam is a routine now. We are fed up of this construction.” said a Baba Dembh resident, Arif Ahmad.

“Few days back, three accidents took place on a single day which resulted in the death of two persons,” said Athar Ahmed, a mechanic by profession.

“It is very difficult to drive through the gate as concrete pillars are erected in the middle of the road which results in frequent accidents and traffic jams,”said Mohammad Altaf, a bus driver.

Superindent Engineer of the SMC, Ishtiyaq Ahmed, told Kashmir Observer that the project to be completed within two years has, on account of floods, been delayed.

Confirming deaths have taken place due to the gate being in a faulty condition at the moment, Ishtiyaq begged for more cooperation from the common people. “Yes, some accidents have taken place and we are about to complete the project within a month’s time more,” he said.

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