No major headway even nearly one year after directions of Lt Governor

Improvement of 23 junctions, smart Wi-Fi at more places

Synchronization of traffic lights pending for want of MoU

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 11: There is no major headway on the much-needed improvement of 23 junctions of Jammu and providing Wi-Fi connectivity at more places under Jammu Smart City Project even nearly one year after the explicit directions of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
Moreover, installation of Integrated Common Control Centre and Intelligent Traffic Management System is still pending for want of signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Bharat Electrical Limited.
On August 23, 2020, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha reviewed mega projects of Jammu division in a high-level meeting attended by the Advisors, the then Chief Secretary and other senior bureaucrats of J&K Union Territory.
In the meeting, the Lieutenant Governor enquired about the improvement of 23 junctions under Jammu Smart City project with the cost of Rs 10.02 cr, which include Shakuntala junction, Karan Nagar junction, Prasar Bharti & CPO junctions, Prem Nagar and Gujjar Nagar junctions, District Jail junction, Vivekanand junction, Mian Dido and Satwari junctions.
At that time, Lieutenant Governor was informed that this project will benefit the people by accommodating an infrastructure ensuring for safe passage, improving Right of Way for pedestrians and reducing traffic congestions. Accordingly, the Lieutenant Governor had issued directions for expediting the project and completion of all procedural formalities in the shortest possible time.
On the occasion, the Lieutenant Governor had also e-inaugurated Smart Wi-Fi Connectivity under Jammu Smart City Mission at 6 places namely Raghunath Bazaar, Residency Road, Mubarak Mandi to Parade Chowk, Bahu Fort, Apsara Road and Green Belt Park. Moreover, he had directed the authorities to expedite the process of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the left-out areas of Jammu city earmarked for this facility.
“However, even after the lapse of nearly one year, there is no major headway on both these aspects”, official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding “improvement of junctions could not be started till date because of procedural delays on the part of the Roads and Buildings Department, Jammu”.
Though the directions were issued in the month of August last year yet it was only in the month of April this year that the Roads and Buildings Department floated tenders for improvement of junctions but only two companies participated in the same as such the exercise could not be taken to the logical conclusion, sources informed.
Thereafter, the work was re-tendered and this time three tenders were received, they further said, adding “the technical bids have been evaluated but the financial bids are yet to be opened as such no time-frame can be specified for allotment and start of work for improvement of junctions”.
According to the sources, all the 23 junctions are required to be improved strictly as per Indian Road Congress norms as presently they are not in proper geometry and radius. During the improvement of junctions, serious attention will be paid towards providing proper drainage, creation of footpaths and utilities like police check points with toilet blocks.
As far as Smart Wi-Fi connectivity at other places of Jammu is concerned, sources said, “work could not be started mainly because of delay in signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company which had executed the task at 6 places”, adding “moreover, there is a dire need to install Integrated Command Control Centre for effective functioning of Smart Wi-Fi connectivity for which MoU is required to be signed with Bharat Electrical Limited (BEL)”.
They further informed that BEL will also install Integrated Traffic Management System for effective functioning of the already installed traffic lights. “In the absence of synchronization of lights traffic chaos can be easily seen at most of the places”, sources added.
“The delay in start of work on both the important components of Jammu Smart City Project is notwithstanding the fact that Lt Governor had called for collaborated efforts from every stakeholder to bring about a massive developmental transformation”, sources said, adding “the Lieutenant Governor had even stressed on inter-departmental coordination in order to achieve results on the ground in shortest possible time”.