Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar today said that 65% of physical work on the prestigious Jehangir Chowk–Barzalla Expressway corridor has been completed, with rest of the project expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Minister said that the work is underway in double shift on the Rs 350 crore project, which is first of its kind in the Kashmir division.
“So far Rs 175 crores have been spent on the project undertaken by J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) under JK Urban Sector Development Investment Programme funded by Asian Development Bank (JKUSDIP),” he said.
The 2.5 km long four lane expressway corridor will greatly ease the heavy traffic passing through the Jehangir Chowk–Barzalla portion of the New Airport road.
He said work on the project is being undertaken in double shift and as on date 65% progress has been achieved on the project as a whole. “The physical progress achieved under different components of the coveted project include 88% on laying of piles, 80% on laying of pile caps, 70% on laying of pier caps, 65% on casting of girders and 50% on erection of girders,” the officials said.
Once completed, the project will play a key role in de-congestion of traffic on one of the major arterial roads of the Srinagar city leading to the South City and the Srinagar International Airport and lessen the travel time by 25-30 minutes on the road stretch.
According to Mohammad Azhar, PRO ERA, the Expressway Corridor will have multiple benefits including savings on fuel, which has been calculated to be Rs 23.25 crores per annum. The corridor will eliminate the frequent traffic congestion by providing a smooth alternative for flow of traffic thus also reducing the levels of air pollution in the area drastically.
The official said that all efforts are being made by J&KERA to commission the project as a whole by the end of 2017 and the work is on schedule.
Pertinently, the work on the prestigious project got inordinately delayed due to floods of 2014 and 2016 unrest in Kashmir.