4 lanning of Ganderbal road, construction of Bus Stand constantly delayed for 8 years

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, June 24: Though started over eight years back, construction of Ganderbal Bus Stand and four lanning of Srinagar -Ganderbal road from Pandach to Bihama Chowk is a distant dream as the two projects have been constantly delayed for years together.
According to sources, the work on Rs 18 crore Ganderbal Bus Stand was started about eight years back but the project was not completed till date due to paucity of funds. The Project is executed by Ganderbal Municipality. Its initial cost of construction was Rs 12 crore which has now jumped to Rs 18 crore due to price escalation, sources added.
The Project was to be constructed on 90 kanals of land having all modern facilities with Bus Terminal, office for Transport Union, Shopping Complex besides, the office of the Ganderbal Municipal Committee. However the constant delay in the execution of the project has added to the woes of the people of entire district who said that with the construction of Bus Stand the passenger service buses from Ganderbal could ply to other connecting district like Srinagar, Bandipora, Baramulla, as well as internal routes including Kangan, Sonamarg and Safapora within the district.
Soon after Ganderbal was announced as new district during PDP-Congress rule in 2007, the Government took a decision of constructing the bus stands district wise but the people of Ganderbal district consider themselves unfortunate where the bus stand could not be constructed during last eight years after its foundation was laid.
The district has a vast area with its boundaries touching Kargil district in Ladakh region, Anantnag, Bandipora and Srinagar districts. Being in Central Kashmir, the Ganderbal district has earned the distinction of being represented by three former Chief Ministers for five terms right from Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah to Omar Abdullah but so far as development of the area is considered it lags far behind, sources said.
“The people of Ganderbal are facing worst problems as they always face huge traffic jams in Bihama Chowk due to congestion. The Government failed to widen the road under the pressure of some influential people which has compounded the people’s problems and added to their miseries a lot”, sources added.
Likewise no headway has been made in the four lanning of Pandach to Bihama Chowk road in Ganderbal district, the work on which was also started over eight years back, sources said. The constant delay in four lanning of road has also resulted in traffic congestion in the area and jams for hours together are witnessed. The distance which normally could be covered in one hour takes four hours due to traffic jams and it is a routine practice, sources added.
Sources said the four lanning project was to be extended up to Wail, Kangan in Ganderbal district to join it with Srinagar Leh National Highway but the four kilometres stretch has not been completed in eight years so one wonders that the eight kilometres stretch would take about a century the way the work is going on it at the present.
The work on this stretch is also going at a snail’s pace and whenever authorities know that any VIP like Lieutenant Governor is visiting the area they put machines on work and later the work is stopped. This way they give an impression to higher ups that the work is in progress which is not in reality so, sources said.
Altaf Ahmed former chairman, Ganderbal Municipality said earlier 90 kanals of land were selected for the Bus Stand Ganderbal out of which later 20 kanals were transferred for construction of Play Ground and 70 kanals were kept for Bus Stand. However, the work on the project was delayed constantly due to paucity of funds, he added.
Mir Ghulam Rasool Batwani, a local leader and veteran Trade Unionist said that various areas of Ganderbal district are cut off as no transport service runs from the district headquarter due to delay in construction of Bus Stand. He said the Bus Stands have been constructed in all the district headquarters of Kashmir valley and the Ganderbal is the only exception. The authorities over the years did not pay any attention to the construction of the same despite the repeated pleas of the people, he added.
However, the Executive Engineer R&B Division Ganderbal, said that the work on four lanning of Pandach- Bihama road has been delayed due to problems faced in land acquisition. He said the stretch of road from Pandach to Bihama Chowk was to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore but the cost of land acquisition jumped to Rs 60 crore which was also one of the problems in delay as it went into languishing projects. However, now the work has been resumed on the road, he added.
But the Ganderbal Municipal Committee is optimistic to inaugurate the Bus Stand in the area within two to three months. The Bus Stand is ready except the blacktopping work is to be done, said Abdul Majid Mir, Deputy Chairman, Ganderbal Municipal Committee. He said the shortage of funds created initial problems and delay in construction of Bus Stand.
“Now we have sufficient funds and the remaining work would be finished within two to three months”, he added.
He said besides, a shopping complex, Bus Terminal and office for Bus Unions , the 40 room office complex for Ganderbal Municipal Committee has been constructed in the premises of Bus Stand.
In addition to this, a children’s park at the cost of Rs 50 lakh is being constructed adjoining Bus Stand and the Government is also proposing to construct a fun park at the cost of Rs one crore in the area, he added.