Construction of ‘Gateway to Old City’ abandoned midway 


The construction of a gateway at Baba Demb area of Srinagar has not seen completion even after six years after the work began on the project.

The construction of the gateway, to be called ‘Babul Iqbal’ was started in 2011 and the government sanctioned 1.20 crore in its construction but the gateway is yet to be completed.

The gateway was a part of the larger beautification plan for Brari Nambal Lagoon, which was to be developed as a Water park and was projected to be completed by 2013.

Pertinently, the project was initiated by the previous Omar Abdullah led National Conference government and introduced by the then Rural Development Minister and Khanyar Legislator, Ali Mohammed Sagar.

The gateway was projected to be an entry point to the old Srinagar city and was to serve as a welcome remark to the visiting tourists.

However, it came under sharp criticism from the locals as they questioned its location.

According to the locals, the location of the gateway is not good as the gate has residential colonies on one side and a ruined Lagoon on the other.

“There is no need of a gateway being constructed here as its location may not be correct for anyone headed to the old city. The road is already very narrow here and the pillars of the gateway have consumed most of the part of road,” locals said.

The locals also said that the unfinished pillars of the gateway and abandoned work material have caused several accidents in past.

“In 2016, two motorcycle borne boys died on the spot as they collided with a Tipper in the evening,” locals said.

The departments involved in the project include Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), J&K Tourism, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED), and Roads and Building (R&B) department.

Meanwhile, SMC Commissioner, Shafqat khan said that delay in funds hampered the construction work. He expressed hope that the project will be completed soon.

“The construction work will be completed within two months. I have given two months deadline to the executing agency,” Shafqat said.


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