Cement shortage has brought to standstill the work on prestigious Rs 369 crore Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh Expressway Corridor (flyover) project, here.
The shortage being felt for past ten days in the Valley is mainly due to suspension of work in cement factories at Khrew from July 25 following protests by locals there alleging the production units were causing air pollution in the area.
Sameer Pahalwan, who heads the flyover project on behalf of Simplex Infra Limited, said that for the last more than a week “the work has suffered due to shortage of cement.”
“It is a time bound project. We have hired machines to complete this project within time. But for past ten days we are paying rent on these machines without being able to put them to work because we don’t have the raw material- cement.”
Pahalwan said: “Our consumption is 10-12 thousand bags of cement per week and we can’t import this quantity from outside state at short notice,” he said.
Pahalwan said they were in touch with Ultratech Cements “but it is costly and they don’t give delivery on time.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the cement factories of Khrew said the issue “has been resolved with the locals and the production has restarted.”
“However, it will take two or three days before we resume supplies for flyover project. We understand that it is a vital public project but we were helpless as the situation that obtained was beyond our control,” he said.
“We have agreed to facilitate development of surrounding villages in an organised manner under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” he added.
Around half a dozen factories in Khrew area produce 250 trucks of cement every day, and the halt in production has created acute shortage of the product in the Valley.
The work on the ADB-funded flyover project was started in 2013. The project after its completion, it is believed, will considerably reduce the traffic congestion in Srinagar city centre and provide quick access to International Airport.