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Despite Guv’s directions, authorities yet to repair city roads

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, May 15: Though the Governor Satya Paul Malik on the eve of opening of bi-annual Darbar Move here had expressed his concerns 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.

The 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, Norbagh, Khayniyar Sanatnagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Nawgam, Batmaloo and other areas.

The people here told KNS 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 Shaher-e-Khaas are dilapidated.

The roads in rural areas are also in mess. Reports said that 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 high-way has been throw to the winds as neither national highway’s authority nor the R&B takes the responsibility of its repair,” said Abid Rashid, who travels regularly on road twice a day,” he said.


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Kashmir

Slew of measures to give Srinagar smooth, sustainable roads: DC

Blacktopping of 125 km of road length;
Road expansions at major traffic nodes;
Strengthening of drainage system

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, July 15: The government has set about renewing some 125 kilometres of road length in Srinagar while taking a multidimensional approach aimed at long term solutions to concerns surrounding roads in the capital district.
The targeted length includes 100 kilometres that require resurfacing and 25 kilometres which require full macadamisation. It stretches across different kinds of roads including the national highway road and major and interior roads of the district.
Contractors’ strike held up restoration work on roads in the district but about 50 percent of the total targeted work has been completed since work was started in June.
These include a range of important roads including MA Road and IG Road in Tehsil South, Batamaloo-Parimpora road and Bemina road in Tehsil Shalteng, Natipora road and Chanapora-Chrarisharief road in Tehsil Chanpora, North Foreshore Road and Nishat-Shalimar road in Tehsil Harwan and the North South Corridor.
These also include various major roads in the old city including Eidgah road, Ali Jan Road, Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach road, Nalamar Road, Syed Merak Shah Road and Baghi Ali Mardan Road.
The roads which require full macadamisation and where work has been started include Zero Bridge-IG Road via Kursoo, Zewan-Khonmoh Road, Shala Naseem Road and Boulevard Road from Nehru Park to Kralsangri.
Drainage deficit running into over 50 percent with a shortfall of around 600 kilometres — for which haphazard establishment of residential colonies and their mushroom growth is responsible and which leads to road damages from frequent water-logging as a result — is also being addressed as part of the multidimensional approach to improve road condition as a longterm solution in the district.
The district administration has released five crore rupees to concerned executing agencies to strengthen the drainage network at major locations of concern. Liberal government funding is expected soon to address the problem once and for all.
In addition to this various other measures are being taken as part of the said efforts. Critical bottlenecks at different places across the Srinagar city are being removed for which about 20 crore rupees have been released to the concerned. This is alongside a host of important road expansion projects — worth an aggregate of about 800 crore rupees — for which funding is being released as acquired for taking up execution.
The Sonwar-Panthachowk road which is a critical road being the entrance to the Srinagar city and which remains choked because of its large traffic volume is being decongested for the first time. The work has been started with the Srinagar administration releasing an amount of two crore rupees for shifting of utilities aimed at decongestion of the road.
DC Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary had detailed meetings with both the GOC of 15 Corps and the CEO of Badamibagh Cantonment Board apart from approaching the DG BRO in efforts to address this problem. Concerned stakeholders later held a joint assessment of issues and requirements recognising the need to redress them.
The project will see some 50 kanals of prime land worth many crores of rupees getting retrieved during the decongestion process.
In addition to this decongestion of roads at the economic hub Batamaloo which includes overhauling its drainage network and expanding its roads has also been started — with the latter to follow the former that is going on at present.
This goes alongside the construction of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover and enhanced efforts over the past four months aimed at completing it within the new deadline the district administration had set. The completion of ongoing work on the last access ramp at Jehangir Chowk by the end of this month as targeted will mark the completion of the flyover project and the success of determined efforts at that.
In order to ensure true achievement of smooth and sustainable road network in the capital district the district administration has also initiated a performance audit of roads in the district. The DC said the aim is to determine the causes of the problem so as to nip them in the bud as part of the planning process and ensure Srinagar has reliable roads laid with longterm solutions to unique challenges in mind.
This is in addition to a host of important languishing bridge projects in the district which have been resumed to augment and strengthen the road network. These include the Mehjoor bridge and Bagh-e-Mehtab bridge which have already been thrown open and at least six other bridges including Noor Jehan bridge, Qamarwari bridge, Wethpora bridge, Shalteng bridge, Darbagh bridge, Panthachowk footbridge and Takanwari footbridge on which works are currently underway.
Meanwhile in response to several public grievances projected in the recent past all the Public Works Department divisions in Srinagar have been asked to come up with proposals for improving interior roads and lanes in the district. The departments have been asked to focus on rural roads assessing their needs in consultation with the local residents and prepare and submit project reports having been assured of quickest funding and execution.
Dr Shahid said the above is in addition to instructions to all concerned engineers to propose innovative projects involving advanced technologies and ongoing consultations of the district administration with experts from outside the State in this regard — all of it aimed at giving Srinagar the roads that it deserves.

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Kashmir

Threat among Kashmiris compelling them not to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’: Adv Farooq Khan

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, July 15: The newly appointed fifth Advisor to Governor, Farooq Khan Monday said that threat among the people of Kashmir was compelling them not to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, which needs to be eliminated.
While addressing a gathering during the reception function at Jammu Airport said that “we need to put an end to the threat looming among people of Kashmir that compels them not to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai’. We need to encourage them (Kashmiris) so that they will deal with the militants themselves without having security forces on their back.”
He further said that Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits and the government was taking every possible step to ensure their return. “The slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas and Sab Ka Vishwas’ will be implemented on the ground in letter and spirit. Some people claim that this is a political slogan but in actuality it is an assurance from the PM Modi regarding the development and upliftment of all sections of society,” he added.
Khan further stated that Kashmir is equally important as Jammu for him. “My maternal hall is in Kashmir and due to insurgency; people of Kashmir have suffered a lot including their property.
However, he added that those who tried to wedge the gap between the Centre and Kashmiris have been failed by the government. He added there are few more things that need to be done in this regard so that the alienation among the people will come to an end.
According to KNS Correspondent present on the occasion, Khan further added that he will work tirelessly and will try to come up to the expectations of people.
About drug menace in Jammu and Kashmir, Advisor Farooq Khan said that both Jammu and Kashmir are witnessing such menace, which needs to be curbed. “Even when I was far away from Jammu and Kashmir, I was concerned about such menace in Jammu and Kashmir. I believe drug menace is more dangerous than terrorism. I have always acted tough against the offenders and will take every possible step to put an end to drug menace in the State,” he added.

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We always welcome home coming of Kashmiri Pandits: Hurriyat (G)

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, July 15: Commenting on the debate over the return of Kashmiri Pandits, Hurriyat Conference (G) said that we always welcome their home coming and encourage every move which helps their return. Let them come back, live as they previously used to, along with their Muslim brothers.
Hurriyat (G) said that we wholeheartedly and sincerely want them to come back, but will oppose any move to settle them in separate colonies as it negates the very fabric of our social, cultural and mutual bonds.
Commenting on the governor’s statement that separate settlement for Pandits is a compulsion and not a choice, Hurriyat Conference (G) said that if decisions sub-servant to compulsions, then there is every possibility of fading away the realities under the veil and dust of so-called compulsions which everybody can narrate according to his own choice.
Hurriyat Conference (G) said that Pandits have been made show pieces by fascist forces to malign and communalize the ongoing movement. Some self-centered and political opportunists exploit their “victimhood” for their own dividends.
Hurriyat (G) welcomes with open arms every displaced citizen of this state including those who suffered similarly in 1947, 1965, 1990 should also be amongst the beneficiaries.

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