Six years after the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah laid the foundation stone of the 2.14-km express corridor flyover in the heart of Srinagar city, it is now nearing completion. The flyover — longest in Valley — is finally expected to be completed on Sunday.
The snail-paced construction of the Rambagh-Jehangir Chowk flyover had become emblematic of the ill-planned development of the city and had become a topic of jokes and mockery. The flyover, which would connect the south part of the city with its centre, has missed several deadlines in the past six years. The first missed deadline was September 2015.
Shahid Chaudhary, the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, said the flyover would be completed on Sunday and would get clearance by July 15.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, where Chaudhary regularly updated the progress of construction during the recent months, the DC described it as the “end of an era”.
He even acknowledged the mockery people made of the flyover, which they never expected to be completed. “There is a list of friends who committed to shave their heads, go to caves, change names, leave their job and so on. (I am) organising a special party for them,” Chaudhary said.
The announcement of the long-awaited completion of the flyover was met with surprise by social media users. “Happy moment to finally see this project being completed. It took more time than the Great Wall of China,” Imran, a social media user, tweeted.
Srinagar, the main city in Kashmir valley, has acute shortage of road infrastructure and the 212 vehicles per km of road in the city is among the highest in the world.
Funded by Asian Development Bank, the flyover had the initial construction estimate of Rs 351 crore. It is expected to ease the heavy rush of traffic into Srinagar city and reduce the average travel time from Jehangir Chowk to Rambagh from 28 minutes to 2.5 minutes.