Lockdowns, shortage of labourers cause of delay, says official
Srinagar: Two major multi-level parking projects in Srinagar have missed deadline with work going on at a sluggish pace right now.
The deadline for twin parking projects-Sheikh Bagh and Old State Motor Garages (SMG)-in the heart of Srinagar’s commercial hub Lal Chowk was fixed this year in May. Both the projects being executed by the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) could have eased traffic congestion in the city arising due to lack of parking spaces. Most vehicles are illegally parked on roadsides causing huge traffic snarls and inconvenience to commuters.
A senior engineer of SDA overseeing the projects admitted that the twin projects missed the deadline and said they will be completed next year now. According to him, the SMG parking project is expected to be completed by June 2021 and Sheikh Bagh by September 2021.
He cited multiple reasons for the delay including last year’s lockdown after abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 followed by Covid-19 lockdown from March this year. The work on both the projects stopped because of lack of construction and skilled workers.
“Even currently the work is going slowly as we are short of labourers. They are leaving the Valley ahead of cold winters,” said an official expressing helplessness.
In Sheikh Bagh parking slot, according to an engineer, only 50 percent works have been completed. “Construction works including slab, ramp and interior work are pending at Sheikh Bagh,” he said. “In State Motor Garages parking space, 90 percent work has been completed and will be thrown open in June next year.”
The construction works of the parking funded under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation started in April 2017 and the deadline for their completion was fixed this year. Both the projects are being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crores and Rs 25 crore, respectively.
At SMG parking site, spread over 13.2 kanals will accommodate 393-390 vehicles. Similarly, Sheikh Bagh multi-level parking which is being constructed over an area of 13.11 kanals will accommodate 457-460 vehicles.