Five years since work the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover began there is no clarity about when the project in the summer capital will be completed.A similar project in Jammu, the Bikram Chowk flyover was completed in four years after work on in was started in 2013.
A senior official of Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) said a lot of work for the project was pending.
“Authorities after facing backlash for failing to complete the project have divided it into several phases for face saving. Earlier this year, they inaugurated first phase, but it won’t serve the purpose until the whole flyover is completed,” the JKERA official said.
“It is unheard of that a development project after 5 years will have to be opened in three phases,” he said adding, both contractors and JKERA was responsible for the mess.On the site, just a few laborers were working this.
Dr. Raghav Langer, chief executive officer of J&KERA said he has directed the contractor to complete the second phase of Jehangir Chowk–Rambagh flyover project by December 31.
However, there was no word on when the entire project would be completed.Phase-I of the project, between Amar Singh college and Barzulla Bridge was completed in May this year.
Langer claimed one way traffic on the stretch has decongested traffic on the road underneath to a great extent.
He said half of the work on the third phase of the flyover project between Amar Singh College and Jehangir Chowk was completed and that its more time consuming structural component was expected to be completed by next March.
The Asian Development Bank-funded project is being executed by JKERA at a cost of Rs 350 crore and is expected to decongest traffic on the road towards Barazulla and Srinagar airport.The flyover project was announced in July 2009 and was supposed to be completed by 2012, but work on it actually started only in September 2013.
Initially, the construction work could not take off due to various issues, including rehabilitation of affected shopkeepers.Later in 2014, the area from Jehangir Chowk to Ram Bagh was badly affected by floods, forcing the authorities to extend the timeline.
Nearly six-month-long 2016 unrest also caused disruption in the work.
The first deadline for its completion was September 2016. Due to the delay in completion of the project, the southern part of the city continues to witness traffic jams causing inconvenience to thousands of commuters every day.When completed, the 2.4 Km flyover is expected to reduce travel time from Jehangir Chowk to Rambagh from 28 minutes to 2.5 minutes.