Though the Governor Satya Pal Malik on the eve of opening of bi-annual Darbar Move here had expressed his concern over the dilapidated roads and had directed the concerned to ensure immediate repair work of roads, but there seems to be no progress on the ground as commuters continue to suffer on the Srinagar roads that have developed cracks and potholes and are in shambles.
R&B Chief Engineer in March had also maintained that all the roads that have developed cracks, or potholes will be repaired on fast track basis before the annual Darbar Move shifts to Srinagar from Jammu.
However all claims proved false and fake as witnesses reveal that special focus has been given to the particular road stretch in the city, but no other roads in the city have been repaired.
The commuters said that the Roads and Building department is not coming up to the peoples’ expectations of repairing the roads damaged due to the winter rain and snow.
According to locals, the road stretch from Qamarwari to Bemina to Batamaloo has major potholes and no repair work has been taken on the road so far by the R&B. Similarly, complaints of dilapidated roads continue to pour in from the residents of Srinagar Airport Road, Rangreth, Rawalpora, Noorbagh, Khayniyar Sanatnagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Nawgam, Batmaloo and other areas.
The people here told Kashmir that though they visited the office of the district administration and Chief engineer Roads and buildings many times with the request for repairing the broken roads, but their requests have fallen on deaf ears.
The road from Qamarwari, Noorbagh to Dalgate is in a bad shape causing inconvenience to commuters, especially students and office-goers.
“Nobody from the administration bothers to take steps to make the bumpy roads functional for the smooth traffic,” said a government employee.
“A distance which should be travelled in less than 40 minutes takes more than an hour because of the potholed roads of the city,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, an auto rickshaw driver.
Road from Qamarwari 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 Mohmmad ismaila, a resident of Safakadal.
Taking the cognizance of the bad situation of the roads in the district, the Srinagar district administration in an order issued to R&B Department on April 10 sort details about officials and contractors for criminal proceedings. Even former chief minister Omar Abdullah has expressed concern over bad condition of roads.
Meanwhile most of the roads in Downtown (Shaher-e-Khaas) are dilapidated.
The roads in rural areas are also in mess. Reports said the roads in north and south Kashmir are in shabby condition, and travelling is proving to be back breaking experience.
The angry commuters here also accused Roads and Buildings (R&B) department of having failed to carry out necessary repairs of the roads.
“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,” they said.
The experts believe that lack of planning, poor quality control and drainage system are the primary causes for the poor condition of roads in the city.
They said that that poor drainage leads to accumulation of water on the roads that eventually washes off a patch or leaves the roads with potholes.
People said that the old Srinagar-Jammu highway is in a sorry state of affairs as no repair work has been started by the authorities so far with the result the frequent travelers on the road from Pampore to Pantha Chowk to and fro face immense problems while as many travelers alleged that their vehicles got damaged due to the bad condition of road from Pampore to Panthachowk.
“Ever since the new express highway from Lasjan to Galander was thrown open, the old highway has been ignored as neither National Highway Authority nor the R&B takes the responsibility of its repair,” said Abid Rashid, who travels regularly on the road.