Disagrees that condition of roads are bad, says ‘potholes to be repaired soon’
Srinagar: Disagreeing that the condition of roads in the valley is bad, the Minister of Public Works, Naeem Akhtar Thursday said that Rs 500 crores are available with the department for macadamization and up- gradation of roads in the current year.
The minister also said that the construction works in the first phase of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover stretch, from Bakshi Stadium to Barzalla Bridge have been completed and that it will be commissioned any time now.
“I don’t agree that the roads are in a bad condition. Last year we have macadamized around 3000 kilometers of roads and the process will be continued in the current year,” Akhtar said.
The minister however said that there are some potholes in the roads especially in the Srinagar city and that the repair work on this will be started soon. He said while the small patching and pothole repair will go on, but the basic emphasize of his department is to improve the quality of the roads which is going on everywhere.
Nayeem Akhter maintained that first phase of flyover will be thrown open for traffic any time now as the construction works have been completed.
Akhtar further said that Jammu and Kashmir under the leadership of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is achieving new heights of progress and prosperity, and the roads in rural areas, as well as towns and cities, are in for major transformation in coming months and years.
Naeem Akhtar said the government has macadamized a total of 4,056.25 km road length in 2017-18 till November, 2017 including 1,330.02 km in Jammu and 2,726.23 km in Kashmir.“The government would macadamize a road length of 3,898.12 km in 2018-19 under different schemes”, he added.
Meanwhile according to the R&B Department’s Action Plan for 2018-19, 22.35 km roads will be built/upgraded under NABARD in Srinagar district while 5 kms will be done under CRF. “For Budgam, 37.20 kms and 47.25 kms respectively; for Anantnag, 35 and 57 kms; for Kulgam, 32.13 and 7 kms, for Baramulla, 47.35 and 39 kms, for Kupwara, 30.7 and 38 kms; for Pulwama, 40.85 and 66.75 kms; for Shopian, 22.60 and 11 kms; for Bandipora, 27.95 and 21.65 and for Ganderbal, 16 and 0 km respectively, totaling 312.13 km under NABARD and 292.65 km under CRF,”.
One of the top officials of the R&B department told KNS that the state met the eligibility under Central Road Fund (CRF) of around Rs 342 crore last fiscal, which has opened an opportunity to get the fund limit for J&K under the scheme enhanced in coming years. “The funds can be utilized for clearing liability of held-up works while the government is in a position now to implement the agenda of development in far-flung areas of the state,” the official maintained.
He said that under Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojna, Jammu and Kashmir used to set a target of laying down 400-500 km new roads.
“This year, we will carry out works worth more than Rs 1800 crore under the said scheme,” he said.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has said that it has macadamized around 1000 KM road length in district Srinagar during the past three years. This information was given by Minister for PWD, Naeem Akhtar in the recent session of Legislative Assembly.
It is to mention here that the city roads have developed deep potholes. The roads in Jehangir Chowk, Qamarwari Ram Bagh Flyover Road, Ram Munshi Bagh, Sonwar, Batwara, Rangreth, Rawalpora, Sanatnagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Padashaagh, are dotted with potholes.
The road stretch from Batamloo to Qamarwari is also dotted with potholes. “The road link was repaired last year; however it could not sustain for more than one year. The Potholes have posing risk of accidents to the commuters,” Shabir Ahmad a resident of qamarwari said.
Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings Kashmir had also admitted that the roads are in a bad condition in the city. “Yes it is true that roads have developed the cracks in the city, but the department has already floated tenders and that the patch work will start in the nest week,” the CE had told KNS last month.
(With inputs from KNS)