Poor performance costs BRO highway projects in J&K
Unsatisfactory maintenance of roads and brewing resentment among people against Border Roads Organization (BRO) has eventually prompted state government to take back several highway projects from it besides lodging strong complaint with Government of India.
Official sources told Rising Kashmir that four key highway projects- Batote-Kishtwar, Srinagar-Gomri, Kargil Zanskar and Domul-Katra- were taken back from BRO few months back after they were apparently abandoned by BRO for repair and maintenance purposes causing huge inconvenience to people.
Sources said the state government s likely to take few more projects back from BRO and is examining the projects where the BRO has not perfumed satisfactorily in last several years.
“There is an impression in the state that BRO has not only failed to complete the projects but also failed to maintain and repair the roads on time. Their performance is far from satisfactory. There are several instances where people have come on roads and protested against the BRO,” reads the letter shot by the state government to Union Ministry of Roads and Highways, a copy of which lies with Rising Kashmir.
It further reads that the proposed four-lane highway project from Parimpora to North Kashmir’s Baramulla district have only the surface work at some places done by BEACON project with poor maintenance causing huge inconvenience and massive traffic jams on the stretch which goes unnoticed by the BRO.
The road which is presently a two-lane highway is a strategic route with long convoys plying on it.
“Four lining of this road is vital for connectivity of north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts including famous tourist resort Gulmarg to overcome the traffic chaos. The road is also used for army convoys to Ladakh besides other border areas of North Kashmir. But unfortunately, the road is poorly maintained by BRO,” the official complaint reads further.
Inordinate delay in completion of Bypass bridge in Sopore town over River Jhelum also caused resentment in the state government which has been facing sharp criticism from people and questions its competence.
“The project was to be completed in 2008 but many deadlines were extended by the BRO but no substantial headway was made in it. The matter was eventually escalated by Chief Secretary with Union MoRTH for immediate redress,” it reads.