The Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach road widening project in Downtown here has hit roadblock as state government has failed to sanction funds for its completion.
Out of Rs 2720 crore sanctioned for languishing projects in Jammu and Kashmir, not a single penny has been earmarked for Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach road widening— lingering from 1970s.
The high powered committee constituted for approval of funding for languishing projects has so far in its four meetings sanctioned Rs 2720.87 crore for 1296 languishing projects through Jammu and Kashmir infrastructure development financial corporation (JKIDFC).
“However, Khanyar-Zadibal-Panch road widening project has not been included in the languishing projects which have been taken for funding through JKIDFC,” said a senior public works department official wishing not to be named.
He said that the project has been lingering from five decades. “The project should have been taken for completion as Old City is facing immense traffic congestion due to narrow roads,” he said.
Chief engineer, Roads and Buildings department, Sami Arif also confirmed that the road widening project is not included in the list of languishing projects sanctioned by the state government for funding.Conceived by then chief minister Sheikh Abdullah in 1976, the road widening of Khanyar-Zadibal- Pandach is still a distant dream with cost of the project escalating by over 1000 percent in last nearly four decades.
The estimated cost of the project in 1976 was pegged at Rs 58 crore which was later scaled up by Rs 100 crore. However, 42 years down the line, the cost of the project as per the Roads and Building department officials has skyrocketed to the tune of Rs 1000 crore.
The Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach which is known as KZP is a 12.5 Km road stretch snaking through the heart of Downtown. The project is part of 39-year-old Circular Road project. The project began in 1976 and is aimed at constructing a four-lane ring road around the summer capital.
“There is unprecedented increase in the cost of this project as more than 300 structures and 500 shops are to be dismantled to pave way for widening of this road stretch which at current price would require more than Rs 1000 crore for land acquisition,” said a senior R&B official.
He said that delay of over nearly four decades in widening the road stretch has made this project “white elephant” which the government is failing to fund. “The skyrocketing prices of real estates in Srinagar has compounded the land acquisition, particularly in Downtown” he said.
The important road link, which could drastically reduce traffic congestion in Downtown has become casualty of “ill planning and callous approach” of various regimes.
The KZP road which passes through the historic Jamia Masjid, reaches SKIMS Soura and ends at Pandach on city outskirts. It is one of the mega road projects in the summer capital apart from Syed Meerak Shah road (SMS)—a 10.30 km stretch from Dalgate to Zakoora via Rainawari and Hazratbal.