Foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018
Anantnag: Work on the Ring Road here in Srinagar has been moving at a snail’s pace, with only about 10 percent of the work completed in the first more than two years.
The project has been sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s Development Program (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the year 2018.
It is a 60-kilometre-long four-lane road partially encircling Srinagar city. “The project is to be completed in two phases. Phase-1 will witness the construction of a 42 kilometre stretch from Gaelander in Pampore area to Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar. The second phase is another four-lane road from Narbal to Ganderbal, which is an 18-kilometer stretch in total,” a source in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said.
Work on the project started in 2020, as per the source, and has been moving on slowly ever since. “Difficulty in procuring raw materials, permissions for mining, land acquisition, and other hurdles have slowed down the pace of work,” the source told Kashmir Reader.
He said that more than 400 structures, including bridges and culverts, need to be constructed and most of these are coming up on agricultural land, for which there are compensations to be made and clearances to be obtained from the departments concerned.
“Hundreds of trees had to be chopped down as well and that also needed a lot of paper work,” the source said, adding that the project was most likely to miss its first deadline of 2024, “because only about 10 percent of the work has been completed so far.”
Kashmir Reader talked to the Project Director of the NHAI in Srinagar, Indresh Kumar, who said that the work was going on smoothly and it will be completed well within time.
“I have heard this before that the work was started in 2020, but I would like to make a correction. The work was started in August 2021 and soon the winter season started. Effectively, the work started in May this year and has been going on smoothly,” Kumar said.
Asked whether the compensations to the landowners have been paid, Kumar said that this particular aspect is looked into by the Revenue department. “I believe the compensations have been made,” Kumar said.
He said that the deadline of the project has been set for February 2024, “and I believe it will be completed well within time”.