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12 yrs on, late Mufti's 'dream project' awaits completion
Anantnag shopping mall
4/20/2017 11:18:54 PM
Saahil Suhail

Early Times Report

Anantnag, Apr 20: Declared 'dream project' of late Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed by the ruling PDP, Anantnag shopping mall awaits completion even after 12 years. The construction of the mall was started by the Urban Local Bodies back in 2005 with much enthusiasm. However, after the passage of 12 years the project is awaiting completion despite the executing agency doubling the estimated cost of the project. "Slow pace of work and shortage of funds is the main reason behind delay," officials told Early Times.
They informed that in 2008, the then government stopped funds to the project because of which the work on the project was stopped and later was resumed in 2015 after revising the project cost.
"The allotted cost of this project was Rs 8.65 cr and now the revised cost of the same project is Rs 19.28 cr," the officials informed. Anantnag residents alleged that work was deliberately slowed by the authorities only to escalate the cost of the project. They said that despite taking token money from over 150 shopkeepers, the Urban Local Bodies Department has failed to complete the work.
"Now the shopkeepers have approached court and demanding interest of the deposited money as per bank rules," an official added. Abdul Gaffar, representative of the executing agency, MS Construction Engineers Barzullah Srinagar, admitted that work on the project was going at slow pace. "During these 12 years we completed two shopping malls," he said, adding that work on the project has resumed.
Director Urban Local Bodies Kashmir, Reyaz Ahmad Wani assured to speed-up the work on the project. "We will work hard and try to complete this project in a year," he said.
He said that shopping mall with ample vehicle parking facility will have over 100 shops and space for government and semi-government offices besides other commercial activities.
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