In a bid to provide better road communication facilities to tourists, the Jammu and Kashmir government has initiated process of widening the famed Boulevard Road along the Dal Lake here.
The government has approved the project of four laning the road from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri with an estimated cost of Rs 33 crore. The road would have separate cycle track which would cost additional Rs 10 crore.
Sources informed that the project was given nod by authorities on July 27 and tenders have also been invited.
With a view to ease traffic movement, the government has decided to widen road from UN Office Sonwar to Kral Sangri, however in the first phase stretch from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri would be widened.
The width of the road is to be increased by 8 meters on the hill side, leaving the Dal side untouched.
The previous government had proposed to construct a cantilever on the Dal Lake to widen it on both sides, but after facing public outcry the plan was shelved as environmentalists pointed out that constructing a cantilever would mean encroachment of the Dal.
“Four laning of the road has been undertaken under Central Road Fund,” said a senior R&B engineer.
He added that widening of road from Nehru Park to Kral Sangri was taken up first as it does not require much money for acquisition of land.
“As per our preliminary estimates, 12 shops and 6 houses are to be dismantled to pave way for widening the 5 km stretch,” he said, adding that 43 kanals of state land would be utilized for four laning of the stretch.
Further, the road would have a cycle track on European pattern.
“It is for the first time that there would be a separate cycle track in JK and for that we have submitted a DPR of Rs 10 crore,” he said, adding that carving out a separate cycle track was the brainchild of Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
The official added that widening of road from Dalgate to Nehru Park requires huge funds for acquisition as on the stretch many hotels , showrooms and shops are to be demolished for paving way for widening of the road.
Talking to us, Executive Engineer, Division-II, Nasir Ahmad Zargar said tenders have been invited for four laning of the road. “Work on the project would start soon,” he added.
Widening of the road, which is at present 22 feet wide, was announced by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on August 2, 2011, and had directed the R&B to start it on war-footing. But the work was not started.