Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a look at the fate of projects earlier initiated by the Centre before laying more foundation stones during his proposed visit to Jammu and Kashmir later this month.
In a statement on Friday former minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar urged the Centre to expedite the big-ticket projects especially those related to connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that while most of them have gone into limbo, there are several vital projects that have been abandoned sans any remorse by the government.
Akhtar said that while starting new projects in Jammu and Kashmir is a welcome measure, the Government of India should also see why the projects it initiated in the past in the state continue to miss the target dates.
Akhtar stated that while construction of the strategic Zoji-la Tunnel has not taken off at all, work over Z-Morh Tunnel has been completely stopped.
He added that the New Jawahar Tunnel has missed several target dates as work on it is going on at snail’s pace.
“The Ring Road project continues to remain in limbo. Even compensation money is not available and the process of land acquisition has not completed,” he added.
“While announcing new projects is a welcome step, the status of the existing ones, too, merit the attention of the central government,” Akhtar said.
The PDP leader added that during the previous government in Jammu and Kashmir, the central schemes witnessed distinct progress, the example of which is Srinagar Qazi Gund Highway and Chenani Nashri Tunnel.
“Such projects were taken up on priority only because the state government was continuously pursuing, reminding and facilitating these projects,” Akhtar said.
He added that it is deeply concerning that Vailoo Tunnel in the state continues to remain a non-starter while as four-laneing of Jammu-Poonch Highway remains a distant dream.
“On the other hand,” said Akhar, “there is no progress on Narbal-Baramulla Highway four-laneing.”
“It is expected that the Governor administration takes it up and pursues it with the Government of India where fortunately we have an outstanding minister at the helm of affairs, Nitin Gadkari. He has been singularly sympathetic to the connectivity requirements of Jammu and Kashmir and has always responded positively to our pleas,” Akhtar said.
However, according to him, it looks like as if these projects are nobody’s baby as they have been abandoned.
“Governor Malik must take stock of this situation and discuss with Government of India so that these vital developmental projects do not suffer time and cost overrun due to which there are apprehensions that they will not be executed ever,” cautioned Akhtar.