SRINAGAR, Feb 13: After completing foundation work, there has not been any headway in the construction of much-awaited Mini-Secretariat in Srinagar even after the passage of two years since the project started. The facility was constructed after shifting of 62-year old bus stand in Batamaloo area here to Parimpora.
While the executive agency attributes their failure to the scarcity of funds, locals hold a lax attitude of the administration responsible for the delay. “No work is going on at the project site for last year or so. Authorities only carried digging in the beginning and, I believe, it was done to send the transporters away. Not a single sand particle was moved after that,” Shabir Ahmad, a local said.
To be built at a cost of Rs 100 crores the administrative complex would be a state- of – art centre housing many offices of the district and provincial administration. Started in 2017, the project was aimed to reduce the time consumption in inter-departmental dealings by bringing them in proximity to each other. Besides, the complex would accommodate all the offices which are to be shifted according to 2035 – Srinagar Master Plan.
The project, however, has failed to move ahead due to lack of funds. “There are issues of funding with the project. Underground work has been done. We could not move further as funds fell short. We will expedite work once funds are released. We are awaiting funds,” Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings Department, which is executing the project, Sami Arif told the Excelsior.
Spread over an area of 114 kanals, the Mini-Secretariat in the first phase of Rs 49.93 crores would have 32 office spaces, 80 staff rooms, 32 staff halls and two spacious meeting halls. The building would be equipped with six elevators, a common facility center, and a basement parking facility for 80 vehicles.
To make way for the project a sixty-two-year-old bus stand which housed around 2000 vehicles was shifted towards the fringes of Srinagar at Parimpora. There has been no advancement in the project for the last year leading to dumping of waste in the proposed site. In addition, the Government’s failure to complete the project has made transporters believe that the move was aimed to snatch their livelihood. There were around 1200 shopkeepers who were running their businesses inside the Bus Stand and were badly hit when the Government shifted in September 2017. “We are not against the construction but they should have first thought about us. What has the Government achieved now?” Mohammad Rafiq asked.