Srinagar, Mar 05 : Much to the dismay and discomfort of commuters as well as residents, the majority of the roads in Kashmir valley including important road links in Srinagar city are in shambles.
It has been seen that the roads have been left, bumpy and pot holed much to the inconvenience of the general public.
While the roads in rural areas are in mess, the situation in Srinagar is even worse. The roads in the capital city are in shabby condition, and travelling is proving to be back breaking experience in the city. Further, road links to tourist destinations are too in dilapidated state giving bad name to the Valley.
Road stretches which are in shabby conditions in Srinagar include Batmaloo-Qamarwari, Jehangir Chowh Lal Chowk, Dalgate Khaniyar,-Soura, and Lal Chowk-Hazratbal, Rangreth-Sanat Nagar road, Hawal-Buchpora road, road links in old city, Malabagh road, Babademb road, etc where people are facing problems due to the dilapidated roads.
The angry commuters accused Roads and Buildings (R&B) department of having failed to carry out necessary repairs of the roads.
In major areas here in Srinagar city, potholed roads are a common sight, even at critical spots like Jehangir Chowk, Ram Bagh, and Batmaloo, Lal chowk causing a lot of inconvenience to the people.
“What is the fun of macadamising when it (macadam) doesn’t last long? The authorities should take into account the hardships suffered by the commuters,” Habib uallha commuter at Jehangir Chowk told this KNS reporter.
Commuters told KNS that in absence of repairs, most of the roads in the city are dotted with potholes. The roads in Jehangir Chowk, Ram Bagh Flyover Road, Tourist Reception Center, Radio Kashmir, Ram Munshi Bagh, Sonwar, Batwara, Rangreth, Rawalpora, Sanatnagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Jawahar Nagar and MA Road are dotted with potholes.
“The non-seriousness of the authorities can be gauged by the fact that the road from Qmararwari leading towards Valley’s lone tertiary care hospital, SKIMS Soura is in shambles. This poses risk to lives of patients who are referred there from other hospitals,” said Hilal Ahmad, a resident of Soura.
The road stretch from Lalchock to Qamarwari is dotted with potholes.
The commuters said that though the majority of road links were repaired last year, however there were certain stretches which were left unattended. Now those unrepaired portions have turned into craters posing risk of accidents to the commuters.
“It is a nightmare for me to drive my car through this dilapidated road, but I have no option,” Shabir Ahmad a resident of bemina said.
People in Districts like, Baramullah, Kupwara, Anantnag, Bandipora, Shopian, Kulgam,Pulwam also expressed resentment over dilapidated roads.
Meanwhile residents said that the vital Pampore-Panthachowk, Lalchowk stretch of the old alignment of Srinagar-Jammu highway is in a pathetic condition.
The condition of this stretch has gone from bad to worse after the newly constructed NH-44 was thrown open for the traffic.
The old stretch, however, is still the main access to Srinagar city, used by ambulances and local travelers, given the fact that the NH-44 is a comparatively longer route to the capital city.
The people said that there has been no maintenance on the road ever since the NH-44 was thrown open for the traffic-and it has been more than a year. The road stretch is full of potholes, which remain filled with water.
The people living around the road lament that the road has become a nightmare for them.
“Either the potholes are filled with water or dust -when dry. Our children cannot even venture out of the houses,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Panthachowk area.
Sources said that there are hundreds of kilometers of road links in Kashmir valley which are in bad shape and need macadamization and repairing on priority basis, adding that “since October last year there has been no work on the blacktopping of roads in Kashmir,”
Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir told KNS that they have started patch-work on damaged roads. (KNS)