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16 years on, Anantnag shopping mall awaits completion
10/14/2021 12:03:31 AM

Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report

Anantnag, Oct 13: Despite the passage of over 16 years now and Government pumping in around Rs 10 crore through the languishing scheme, the Anantnag Shopping mall is awaiting completion. The construction of the commercial shopping mall was started by Urban Local Bodies Kashmir back in 2005 with much enthusiasm; however after the passage of 15 years the project is awaiting completion despite the implementing agency doubling the estimated cost of the project.
“The engineering wing of Urban Local Bodies Kashmir was abolished and the task of executing works of municipalities was handed over to R&B. We took up this matter with R&B department and requested them to complete the project but they refused saying some formalities haven’t been followed in this project,” officials at MC Anantnag told Early Times.
They said that the Principal Secretary to the Housing and Urban Development Department a few months back had directed both the departments to settle the matter in a week and complete the project. “His directions didn’t yield any positive result and since then months have passed but the department didn’t do anything,” they said.
Officials said that R&B has conveyed to them that the parent agency has brought some changes in the projects without getting approval from the competent authorities. “They also tell us that the parent agency hasn’t gone for the supplementary agreement,” officials said.
Claiming that 80% works have been completed, the officials said that the shopping complex was requiring minor works. “We admit that this project got delayed and is unfair to the people who have paid token money 15 years ago,” they said.
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 (Anantnag commercial shopping complex) was 8.65 Cr and now the revised cost of the same project is 19.28Cr,” 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.
They said that the abandoned complex had turned into a safe haven for drug addicts and anti-social elements.
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