Jammu and Kashmir has been struggling to restore the damaged infrastructure since the floods last year left a trail of destruction.
About 500 bridges and 6,000 km of roads were fully or partially damaged, snapping connectivity to thousands of villages.
The large-scale devastation pushed the state’s development planning back to several decades. The Roads and Buildings (R&B) Department is racing against time to rebuild basic infrastructure lost to the nature’s fury.
Talking to us on the first anniversary of the floods, Minister for Public Works Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said: “Nearly 80 per cent of road network has been completely restored. The work on the rest 20 per cent is in progress. So far, bridges have been temporarily repaired. I can say with confidence that complete restoration will be done by March 31, 2017, as bridges damaged by the natural calamity need time to rebuild,” said Bukhari.
He said several R&B projects were pending due to delay in fund release. “The Central government has promised to release additional funds. Till then, we can only wait. But whatever money we got, it has been invested to improve connectivity,” he said.Bukhari said: “We have changed some basic aspects of road laying format which include use of 75 mm bitumen instead of 25 mm bitumen in blacktopping roads. The contractors have to give three years guarantee and it will be their responsibility if there is damage due to use of poor material.”