Beacon misses Nov 30 deadline for Highway widening

Beacon has again missed the deadline to complete widening of the 7.5-kilometre stretch of Srinagar-Baramulla highway from Shalteng to Narbal.
Beacon misses Nov 30 deadline for Highway wideningIt was in 2007 that work on four-laning this 7.5-kilometre stretch was allotted to Beacon by the Union Government. However, since then, the agency had missed several deadlines.
Due to non-completion of the Shalteng-Narbal stretch, frequent traffic jams on a daily basis were being witnessed on the national highway, which had been causing hardship to commuters.
On July 25, Beacon assured the Jammu and Kashmir Government of completing the second tube of the Shalteng-HMT Chowk stretch by August 20.
It had assured the state government of completing the remaining portion from the HMT Chowk to Narbal crossing on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway by November-end.
However, despite these assurances and expiry of this deadline, the agency was yet to open the stretch for vehicular traffic as construction on one tube was still going on at many places.
“We had earlier assured the Jammu and Kashmir Government to complete four-laning of the Shalteng-HMT-Narbal stretch by November-end, but due to some unforeseen reasons and bottlenecks, work has been delayed,” said Brig Ashih Kumar Das, Chief Engineer, Beacon, which is executing the highway widening project.
He identified the gurdwara near HMT crossing and a petrol pump nearby as the bottlenecks hampering the pace of four-laning project. Das, however, added that an alternative site for shifting the gurdwara had already been identified and it was now up to the state government to take steps for acquiring the land.
The Beacon Chief Engineer asserted that the agency would complete the non-bituminous work by March next year and, weather permitting, blacktopping would be done by April or May.
“It will only be after April or May that we will be able to complete and open the Shalteng-Narbal stretch for regular vehicular traffic,” Brigadier Das added.

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