Srinagar: The government is planning to throw open for traffic Phase I (Amar Singh College crossing to Barzulla) of the Rambagh flyover, as it is known in Srinagar, on Friday. Officials, however, are saying “within a few days” and not committing to a date as the prevailing situation may delay the opening.
The much-delayed project is the longest flyover in Kashmir, spanning a total length of 1.64 kilometre from Jehangir Chowk to Rambagh. The project has missed more than five deadlines, due to which the government has decided to open only one tube of the flyover – for one-way traffic.
Even allowing one-way traffic would decongest the Jehangir Chowk-Barzulla stretch that has become choked due to the flyover construction in the past few years. Director of the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), Showkat Ahmad Wani, told Kashmir Reader that within a few days the first phase of the flyover would be open. “We are going to open the stretch from Amar Singh College crossing to Barzulla for traffic,” he said.
‘Though in the last month the Phase-I was in its final stage, but still we don’t want to take risks by hurriedly throwing it open. A few tests conducted recently on the stretch have been sent outside the state for analysis as they can’t be done here,” he said.
“We are waiting for the results and expect a good response. In the meantime, we have finished other pending works like blacktopping etc,” Wani added.
Work on the flyover had started in 2013 with an estimated cost of Rs 369 crore. The project is being executed by the Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA), with Simplex Limited as the project contractor.
The construction was to be completed within three years. Initially, September 2016 was fixed as the deadline, but it was extended to March 2017 after the September 2014 floods. Work was again suspended in 2016, after labourers from outside the state fled the valley due to the post-Burhan Wani uprising.
According to reports, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is monitoring the rehabilitation of shopkeepers affected by the flyover, had asked the state government to not start construction work on the flyover until all the displaced shopkeepers are rehabilitated. That
“It is the longest flyover in entire Kashmir. Under construction for several years, the project has badly hit traffic as well as pedestrian moment in uptown Srinagar,” Wani said.