Roads in shambles, Government in slumber

13 Kms Macadamized In Kashmir Last Year, 1300 Kms In Jammu

Despite claims of equitable development by the PDP-BJP government, over 2600 kilometers of roads in Kashmir continue to be in dilapidated conditions with authorities failing to undertake repairing, blacktopping roadways in the Valley, officials informed.
A senior Roads and Buildings Department official informed Kashmir Post that flood in 2014 damaged estimated 4000 Kms of roads in Kashmir. “Of which only 1400 Kms were repaired, remaining 2600 continues to be in dilapidated condition,” he said adding that R&B has already forwarded this information to the government and sought additional funding.
“However, only Rs 150 crore has been sanctioned so far which is too little to repair roads links,” he said adding that sanctioned amount is not sufficient to repair all the damaged roads in Kashmir region.
To add to it, the Minister for Public Works Department in his reply in the cut motion in the Budget session of Legislative Assembly had revealed that during 2016, only 13 Kms of roads in Kashmir were macadamized due to unrest last year, while as during the period 1300 Kms of road were macadamized in Jammu region.
Officials informed that besides flood damaged roads, there are hundreds of kilometers of road links which are in bad shape and need macadamization and repairing on priority basis, adding that “since July last year there has been no work on the blacktopping of roads in Kashmir while work in Jammu and Ladakh is going on as per schedule.”
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 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.
Talking to Kashmir Post, Chief Engineer R&B, Sheikh Abdul Hamid said that they have started patch-work on damaged roads. “We are finalizing macadamization plan,” he said adding that till now they have got allocation of Rs 150 crore of which Rs 100 crore are from state plan and Rs 50 crore under cities and towns for roads in Kashmir division.
The business fraternity term it as “inequitable development and agenda of RSS to keep Kashmir economically backward.”
“They have macadamized only 13 Kms in Kashmir province, while at the same time 1300 Kms were macadamized in Jammu, isn’t it a joke with people of Kashmir,” said Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan.
Khan said, “We are not ready to buy this theory of government, unrest was in second quarter of last year, what they did in the first quarter from March to July?” he questioned.

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