Jehangir Chowk- Rambagh flyover

Ambitious Jehangir Chowk- Rambagh flyover which was conceived many years back, announced in early 2009 , supposed to be completed by 2012 but actual work on it started only in September 2013 , continues to play hide and seek towards getting fully completed. This project , we feel , perhaps, due to the reason of not only the cost of construction of whooping Rs. 350 crore but by its expected utility to address the mounting traffic problems of Srinagar core city attained much hype but has shown up to miss deadline after deadline , the latest one that of December 31, last year.
We could manage to give a few “bonus points” to the status of the project on two counts , one – that the project is executed by state based Agency Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency , “popularly ” known as ERA known for its adhering to motto of its own version …”(very) slow and (less) steady wins the race” and two- a bit of inclement weather and “other” conditions for not meeting the deadline of completion of the work. However, decidedly not for so much of delay , any cogent reasons on consistent basis could be thought of .
The fact of the matter is that the work on this flyover is still going on as it is still incomplete. Phase 2 , i.e. from Rambagh to Aloochi Bagh was expected to be all over and complete by the end of the last year but one could add this failed deadline into several ones since the work began on it. It may be recalled that the construction work on this flyover began in the year 2013 and since the project is funded by Asian Development Bank, the worries on account of funds availability were not to be there, it was expected that the woes of traffic congestion in Srinagar city centre would be over as also would it provide quick access to Srinagar International Airport. This project initially got embroiled into various problems which included the main issue of rehabilitating the affected shopkeepers and other offices as it would have , in the alternative meant a loss of their livelihood and business respectively. So the construction work could not be started due to this main reason. Later the floods of 2014 caused a lot of problems to the construction as the areas remained inundated for weeks together. Law and order problems of 2016 also cast a shadow on its work. It was 2016 itself which was the first deadline of the completion of the work which it missed. It was thought that an “extension ” of one year would do the needful , say by 2017 end but that too was missed followed by the third in succession, that of the end of 2018 which too has been missed.
However, the first phase of this flyover from Amar Singh College to Barzulla Bridge got completed only last year which was thrown open for traffic but a penalty of Rs.1.25 crore was imposed on the contracting agency for the delay in the project last year and the contractor was “instructed” to complete the left over task on this flyover from Rambagh to Aloochi Bagh by December 31, 2018. Chief Executive Officer of ERA has, however, come up with the “reasons” of the delay in his own right but has assured that the structural part of the flyover was expected to be completed by April 2019 and surfacing part of the work in May 2019 provided the temperature was favourable. Let us hope that by mid 2019, this part of the flyover would be fully completed so that it was thrown open for traffic. Now, no more ‘extension’ or granting of one more deadline is the requirement.