Srinagar, Mar 27: The Bijbehara-Shopian road continues to remain in limbo despite the authorities sanctioning the project in year 2016.
The inordinate delay in the completion of the project has raised eye-brows in the local residents, who allege the authorities of being in connivance with the contractors for the tardy progress.
An official in the know-how of things told GNS that the first phase of the road was approved in year 2016 at a cost of 49 Crores, however after issues between two contractors, the matter went to court.
The matter took some months for the Court to resolve following which the work was finally started.
The first phase of road runs over a distance of 12 kilometres and 30 metres from Bijbehara upto Chittragam, he said. Later other portion of the road was sanctioned in spare funds and for the convenience of the contractors, the road was divided into three patches which included Bijbehara-Chitragam, Chitrgam- Hillow and Hillow to Shopian, he said adding that the work was started in double shift bases in year 2017/18 .
However after the work was set into pace, PHE played a major spoilsport and kept on insisting extra funds. “It (PHE) first sought 85 lacs, which was provided after conduct of a board meeting, however soon after, it again decried paucity of funds and was again provided with nearly 1.5 Cr. Rupees”, he said adding that “What actually hit the project progress was when the said department (PHE) again approached for more funds, even as it already had taken 2.5 Cr rupees.”
Besides PHE, it was also PDD which was granted 45 lacs after the latter also claimed scarcity of funds.
When asked as how much of the road is completed, he said that it prima-facie seems that about thirty-five percent of the project has been completed so far.
A group of senior-citizens have meanwhile rued the sloppy attitude of authorities into completion of the project and said that the authorities are deliberately putting the issue at back-burner.
“They all are in connivance with each other and taking the residents on a ride”, they said adding that “the government has not released any fund under CRF for the year 2019/20.”
Meanwhile the longest and costliest bridge in the district has been telling a similar story. The bridge connecting Trenz to Shiekh Pora approved at a cost of 26 Crores in 2017 was sanctioned with more funds, which according to an official concerned, totaled to 34 Crores.
However nothing significant has been seen being done to make it through, a senior citizen said.
Taking a strong exception on the official apathy, former MLA Wachi and incumbent DDC Member Aijaz Ahmad Mir while talking to GNS said that the people are suffering for the want of the pending projects in the district.
“The government should see as to why at all are the authorities concerned delaying the sanctioned projects”, this road is life line of Distt Shopian he said.
“The PHE department should be more strictly questioned for their dubious role, which became a major hindrance in the completion of the project, also Funds were released for purchasing of new Pipes while as Phe deptt has used the old pipes which is a scandal and needs to be probed .He also said that if administration has not resumed the work on both projects we will hit the roads in coming month,he added. (GNS)