Unrest still haunts Valley

Non-locals labourers refuse to work in Kashmir

Srinagar, Feb 13 (KNS): The developmental works have not been started as around 80 percent labourers who left Kashmir during unrest have not returned so far.Hundreds of non-locals including skilled workers working on various developmental projects have left the Valley.Even though, there is improvement in the situation but the outside officials and skilled labourers are reluctant to return to the Valley to resume work on developmental projects.

“Under the present circumstances, it is not possible to re-start work in the Valley. When ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats are reluctant to move freely than how is it possible to work in Kashmir,” a group of skilled labourers who have been working on Jehaingir Chowk-Rambagh flyover in Srinagar told KNS.

Work on some vital projects including Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover, construction of surface water drainage system in Athwajan, water pipeline Doodhganga, water drainage system Rawalpora and other projects have been stopped. All these major projects that are handled by Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) and financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB) have missed deadlines while the skilled and semi-skilled labourers mostly non-locals have abandoned the construction sites.

Sources said the roads and buildings department had set up a target for completion of over 50 bridges by March 2017 which are likely to miss the deadline due to the unrest.

An official of roads and buildings department, said some projects only require skilled labourers who are mostly non-locals. “When they left the Valley how is it possible to restart the work on various developmental projects,” the official said.

The official said the government had asked the non-local officials and labourers (engineers and skilled workers) to resume their work but they had refused so far.

“We want outside engineers and other skilled labourers to return back but they seem reluctant to come here. The work on major construction projects is not possible unless these people return to the Valley,” the official said.

He said most of the works of PMGSY, CRF, ERA are being done by non-local skilled labourers. “The developmental works have been stalled. Government can’t do anything as outside skilled labourers are reluctant to work on developmental projects.

He said the Jehaingir Chowk-Rambagh flyover won’t be completed within the framed deadline by June 2017. (KNS)

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