SRINAGAR: The upgradation of a sports stadium in uptown Natipora area of Srinagar is being carried out at snail’s pace, with locals alleging that substandard soil has been used to level the field.
The Hari Nambal sports field, according to locals, was to be developed and leveled using superior quality earth, but the contractors are using a substandard grade of soil instead.
The sports facility is being developed by the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board (JKHB) and needed the project contractors to raise the level of the ground by way of way of earth filling.
Documents accessed by Kashmir Reader state that the land filling of the sports ground will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore 63 lakh under the approval of the JKHB.
The work as carried out so far is visibly substandard. Natipora resident Asif Ahmad told Kashmir Reader, “The up-gradation of the sports stadium is not up to the mark and contractors are filling the playground with low-quality soil, which is clearly unreasonable and not meant for a sports field.”
Other residents said the authorities are not ramming or leveling the playground properly. “We have already raised complaints against the authorities a few times, but they are taking things for granted,” complained a group of locals. “The field was uneven and there were ditches around the field and water also accumulated at several places, making it unfit for sports activity.
“The local contractor is dumping nalla muck-type clay here while, according to the tender, it should have been yellow clay. Almost 50 percent of the ground has been laid with this unfit material. We demand that the authorities fill the ground with approved soil only and request the concerned officials and the JKHB to intervene in the matter so that sports players don’t have to suffer any more.”
The project’s concerned Junior Engineer, Muzaffar Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that the soil approved for the filling is yellow soil and sweet soil. About the alleged completion delays, he said, “For the first phase, we have Rs 40 lakh authorized with which we have completed almost 50 percent of the work. We would have completed the first phase work, but it had to come to a halt due to bad weather.
“We are filling the ground with yellow soil; sweet soil will come into play only after proper leveling is done. The final layer will be of sweet soil, subject to the availability of funds. Locals and cricket enthusiasts need to cooperate with us – we will give our best for filling the playground,” Muzaffar added.
“The soil used in the filling is not sub-standard and only approved soil will come into use. The work was started in the month of January and was meant to be completed in two months, but due to bad weather the work got delayed,” he said.