Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover to miss 3rd deadline this year

‘Outside laborers flee following braid chopping incidents’

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Oct 12 2017 12:55AM | Updated Date: Oct 12 2017 12:55AM
Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover to miss 3rd deadline this yearFile Photo

Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover is all set to miss another deadline this year as over 150 laborers from other states have left their work after some of their colleagues were roughed up by mob.  

Officials said the laborers were roughed up after reports of presence of braid choppers in the adjacent vicinity.

“Few of our colleagues were roughed by agitated public after they suspected them of being braid choppers,” said Suraj Kumar of Kolkatta who works as a laborer at Rambagh flyover.

“I am also leaving to my native place tomorrow as my family has been consistently calling me to return. They are worried about my safety as other members from my village have narrated tales about the happenings here,” Kumar said adding that “because of our looks, we are easy target and prime suspects in this situation.”

Failure of authorities to curb braid chopping incidents and its subsequent public anger has created fear psychosis among masses in Kashmir. 

Official data reveals that 80 percent workforce working on the project is from outside states like Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. 

As per officials, the fleeing of non-local laborers has hampered work on the project.

“Majority of the workers have left as they got scared due to fear of being suspected as braid choppers,” said an ERA official wishing anonymity.

He said that as a result of this happening, the flyover will again miss October deadline. It would be third deadline set by government, which would be missed. Earlier first link of the project was slated to open from June this, later it was changed to September and then October.

Director, ERA refused to comment on the issue.  The government’s action against the officials for inordinate delay in completion of the project has served no purpose so far. 

On 18th September, the chief executive officer of the ERA Vinod Sharma was attached after a minister snubbed him during the meeting of the board of over the delay in construction of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover.

He, according to sources, was attached after he gave a presentation that Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh would not be completed within the deadline by ending September.

Principal secretary to Chief Minister, Rohit Kansal, was given the charge of the post of CEO ERA in addition to his own duties. However, the completion of the Jehangir Chowk- Rambagh flyover  missed the deadline of 30th September.

Minister for Roads and Building, Naeem Akthar, said that work on the project is going on. “We are working to complete the project at earliest.”

The work on the flyover was started in 2013 and the first deadline for its completion was September 2016. The work on the Rs 350-crore project has been divided into four sections. Due to 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.

The 2.4-km flyover is expected to reduce the journey time from Jehangir Chowk to Rambagh from 28 minutes to 2.5 minutes.