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Kashmir roads a commuting nightmare, admin in deep slumber

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Srinagar: Potholed roads, traffic gridlocks, and noxious air have exposed the claims of development in Kashmir.

The majority of roads in Kashmir lie in a dilapidated condition, even as the authorities claim that the non-availability of construction material is hampering the macadamization drive.

 

From south to north and from east to west, potholed roads and gridlocks are making life miserable for people. 

“Traveling is a harrowing experience nowadays. We don’t know what material the authorities used when blacktopping was being done last year. Even a drizzle is enough to create a pothole. These roads couldn’t withstand the winter,” said Ghulam Hassan Bhat, a local from Bijbehara town of Anantnag district.

Bijbehara-Anantnag road, Nai Basti- Anantnag, and KP road are the glaring examples of authorities’ apathy. “Situation is equally horrible in inner areas where roads have become rivers. Traveling through these routes is full of danger as road accidents can occur anytime,” he said.

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A bylane in Srinagar (KM/Umar Ganie)

Similarly, residents of Begam Pariwan, Arreh, Padarpora, Nillow, Shoch Batapora, Shehpora, Kaprin, are facing extreme hardships due to the pathetic conditions of roads.

“We had requested the concerned department to macadamize the roads, but our pleas have fallen to deaf ears. The road condition has worsened this winter. Our commuting time has increased manifold due to bad roads,” said Sajad Ahmad, a resident of Pariwan.

Pulwama district has the same story to tell.  “Roads lie in dilapidated condition. In Lassipora, roads have become rivers and people have to cross through knee-deep waters to reach their destinations,” said Muneer Ahmad Wani, a resident of Pulwama town.

Likewise, Nihalpora, Tapper, Tangmarg and Baramulla Kandi, and other roads in north Kashmir have turned into death traps. “We have dozens of roads in the Pattan area, which have large potholes. People cease to venture out during inclement weather as the roads remain waterlogged for days together,” said Mohammad Ahsan Rather, a resident of Pattan.

 In central Kashmir’s Budgam, Ganderbal, and Srinagar, the road condition is no different.  Dr. Ali Jan road and Qamarwari-Parimpora road in Srinagar have been in terrible condition for a long time.

The roads connecting interiors of the city are in the worst condition as deep pits have rendered them unsafe for vehicular movement.

Chief Engineer, Roads and Buildings Department, Showkat Ahmad said they will begin the road macadamization in April.

He, however, said the non-availability of material is proving to be a big hurdle.

“There are few roads, which have suffered damage. Majority of the roads, which were macadamized last year, are in a good condition,” he said.