Ironically, the Court ordered the removal of the last remaining impediments to ensure the speedy completion of the aforementioned road’s widening in March of this year after expressing “satisfaction” over the status report provided by the authorities in response to a PIL filed by an NGO. However, that speed is completely undetectable, and the court needs to take notice of that. The authorities cannot continue indefinitely to widen the road that connects Srinagar city to Ganderbal and Leh, as well as providing access to the revered Hazratbal Shrine, the prestigious University of Kashmir, and the homes of millions of residents in new urban areas like Zakura, Habak Tailbal, and Alasteng. If there are concerns, as stated in the status report presented to the High Court, they must be rectified quickly and without further delay—a process that needs to be monitored.
Why can’t the administration demonstrate the same speed and determination to fix the issues with the widening project to assure its completion well before doomsday if it can practically turn the city centre upside down—in no time—in the name of Srinagar Smart City? The acquisition of buildings that are in the path of the road is the issue, and while the majority of these acquisitions have been made, according to the official report, the unknown ghost is glaring directly at the authorities in Khayam, Khanyar, and Rainawari.
The court, which noted in March this year that there was “no wilful neglect or inaction” on the part of the authorities, must now direct the concerned departments to come up with a timeline and complete the project—well before those dates because having a date has now become a necessity: the concerned department must not be afraid of giving a definite timeline if the work in really in progress. Isn’t it ridiculous to have the project stalled for years? Isn’t it a disgrace for the administration and blatant injustice to the people? We believe it is!
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