Srinagar July 14: Construction of the grade separator on NH-44 near Lasjan in the outskirts of Srinagar is unlikely to meet the 20-day deadline that was recently fixed by the district administration for the completion of this 10-year-old project.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad, on 12th July asked the construction company to speed up work on the project and set a timeline of 20 days for its completion. This was the second deadline fixed by the district administration for the project since April this year.
Earlier the company missed a 45-day deadline for the project and the second deadline is likely to face the same fate. The experts at NHAI said they cannot complete the project in 20 days due to technical reasons. “The activities which involve technicalities take time as everything is done carefully. Moreover, we have to wait for at least 25-days for some joints to fix,” an official said.
He added the work on the flyover has been going on for the last 10-years as issues ranging from funds scarcity to the technical incompetence of the executing agency disrupted the construction work.
The government has issued the contract for the pending work to a Gawar construction limited in August last year after RAMKY infrastructure missed several deadlines since the project started in 2011. “We cannot claim they were penalized but their contract was not renewed,” an official said.
A delay in the completion of the grade separator construction at the Junction has put commuters in a spot. They lamented since the traffic from southern and northern parts of the valley converges at the point, it is a herculean task to pass the junction.
“It is a baffling task to cross this stretch, especially during the peak hours. The commuters are caught in traffic for extra time as there is no other alternative arrangement to resolve the issue,” Arshad Ahmad, a local cab driver, said.
Commuters also denounced the slow pace of work on the project, which caused grinding traffic halts during peak hours. “The work is going at snail’s pace. Although, the work has picked up in last few months but the facility remains incomplete,” Nasir Ahmad, a commuter said.
Following the opening of the new alignment of NH-44 from Pampore- Lasjan By-pass, an overhead bridge was allotted at an important junction near Lasjan area on the highway. The move was aimed to achieve grade separation for the smooth flow of traffic. Once complete, the grade separator would ease traffic moving towards Baramulla and Pampore By-pass.
Arun Kumar Pinjari, NHAI’s Project Director for Srinagar, told Excelsior that they would make sure the bridge gets functional on time. “The work is in full swing and we will make sure the bridge gets completed as soon as possible,” he said.