Srinagar Ring Road sees 9% progress in 3 years

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, July 11: The Ring Road Project in Srinagar has seen only 9% progress in the last three years, with officials claiming that all the roadblocks have been cleared and the work is underway at a smooth pace.
Officials said that the compensation to the affected landowners, which had been a key bottleneck in the construction process, has been completed and that only those landowners who have legal issues have not yet received compensation.
“We have deposited the entire sum with the Government, and whenever the disagreements are resolved, they will get paid,” Project Director, National Highways Authority of India, Indresh Kumar, told Excelsior.
He said that now that work has resumed, they will complete the project in the next three years, ahead of schedule, which is February 2024. “The construction started in May this year and 9 percent of the project has been accomplished so far,” he said.
He added that 400 structures, including culverts and bridges, need to be built along the 42-kilometer road section. “Around 60 of the 200 structures where work is now being done have already been finished. After that, the next 200 will be picked up,” he said.
The project was part of the Prime Minister’s Development Project (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir and its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. However, the project’s development was halted due to a delay in acquiring land from the affected land owners.
The 60.84 km long, four-lane Semi-Ring Road that encircles Srinagar city will be built in two stages. Phase I will involve building a 42-km section of road from Galander to Narbal, and Phase II will involve building a further 18.84-km stretch of four-lane road from Narbal to Ganderbal. Phase I will link Sumbal in the Bandipora district with Galandar, which is close to Pampore town.
However, an official said that they had difficulties in obtaining the raw materials and that they had only secured 2-3% of the total quantity needed. “We’ll need two to three months to obtain clearance for just one location. “If the permission is given promptly, the work will improve,” he said.
He added that the rate of work is also impacted by the relocation of utilities and the project’s passage through agricultural areas.
“Utility shifting encounters certain issues as well. In certain locations, like Budgam, the majority of the land is used for paddy, and no work will be done until the harvest, “he said.