SRINAGAR: The government has set about renewing some 125 kilometres of road length in Srinagar while taking a multidimensional approach aimed at long term solutions to concerns surrounding roads in the capital district.
The targeted length includes 100 kilometres that require resurfacing and 25 kilometres which require full macadamisation. It stretches across different kinds of roads including the national highway road and major and interior roads of the district.
Contractors’ strike held up restoration work on roads in the district but about 50 percent of the total targeted work has been completed since work was started in June.
These include a range of important roads including MA Road and IG Road in Tehsil South, Batamaloo-Parimpora road and Bemina road in Tehsil Shalteng, Natipora road and Chanapora-Chrarisharief road in Tehsil Chanpora, North Foreshore Road and Nishat-Shalimar road in Tehsil Harwan and the North South Corridor.
These also include various major roads in the old city including Eidgah road, Ali Jan Road, Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach road, Nalamar Road, Syed Merak Shah Road and Baghi Ali Mardan Road.
The roads which require full macadamisation and where work has been started include Zero Bridge-IG Road via Kursoo, Zewan-Khonmoh Road, Shala Naseem Road and Boulevard Road from Nehru Park to Kralsangri.
Drainage deficit running into over 50 percent with a shortfall of around 600 kilometres — for which haphazard establishment of residential colonies and their mushroom growth is responsible and which leads to road damages from frequent water-logging as a result — is also being addressed as part of the multidimensional approach to improve road condition as a longterm solution in the district.
The district administration has released five crore rupees to concerned executing agencies to strengthen the drainage network at major locations of concern. Liberal government funding is expected soon to address the problem once and for all.
In addition to this various other measures are being taken as part of the said efforts. Critical bottlenecks at different places across the Srinagar city are being removed for which about 20 crore rupees have been released to the concerned. This is alongside a host of important road expansion projects — worth an aggregate of about 800 crore rupees — for which funding is being released as acquired for taking up execution.
The Sonwar-Panthachowk road which is a critical road being the entrance to the Srinagar city and which remains choked because of its large traffic volume is being decongested for the first time. The work has been started with the Srinagar administration releasing an amount of two crore rupees for shifting of utilities aimed at decongestion of the road.
DC Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary had detailed meetings with both the GOC of 15 Corps and the CEO of Badamibagh Cantonment Board apart from approaching the DG BRO in efforts to address this problem. Concerned stakeholders later held a joint assessment of issues and requirements recognising the need to redress them.
The project will see some 50 kanals of prime land worth many crores of rupees getting retrieved during the decongestion process.
In addition to this decongestion of roads at the economic hub Batamaloo which includes overhauling its drainage network and expanding its roads has also been started — with the latter to follow the former that is going on at present.
This goes alongside the construction of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover and enhanced efforts over the past four months aimed at completing it within the new deadline the district administration had set. The completion of ongoing work on the last access ramp at Jehangir Chowk by the end of this month as targeted will mark the completion of the flyover project and the success of determined efforts at that.
In order to ensure true achievement of smooth and sustainable road network in the capital district the district administration has also initiated a performance audit of roads in the district. The DC said the aim is to determine the causes of the problem so as to nip them in the bud as part of the planning process and ensure Srinagar has reliable roads laid with longterm solutions to unique challenges in mind.
This is in addition to a host of important languishing bridge projects in the district which have been resumed to augment and strengthen the road network. These include the Mehjoor bridge and Bagh-e-Mehtab bridge which have already been thrown open and at least six other bridges including Noor Jehan bridge, Qamarwari bridge, Wethpora bridge, Shalteng bridge, Darbagh bridge, Panthachowk footbridge and Takanwari footbridge on which works are currently underway.
Meanwhile in response to several public grievances projected in the recent past all the Public Works Department divisions in Srinagar have been asked to come up with proposals for improving interior roads and lanes in the district. The departments have been asked to focus on rural roads assessing their needs in consultation with the local residents and prepare and submit project reports having been assured of quickest funding and execution.
Dr Shahid said the above is in addition to instructions to all concerned engineers to propose innovative projects involving advanced technologies and ongoing consultations of the district administration with experts from outside the State in this regard — all of it aimed at giving Srinagar the roads that it deserves.