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Streets of Srinagar have turned ugly and dangerous

Srinagar, July 29: Broken footpaths, dislocated kerbstones, missing signage, and potholes affecting traffic and pedestrian movement are some of the common problems on the streets of Srinagar.

The road infrastructure deteriorates during rains, when potholes grow in size and turn water-logging to cause accidents.

The problem is a result of lack of coordination among departments.

In Srinagar’s commercial hub, Lal Chowk, the under construction drainage system at Regal Chowk is giving commuters a tough time. The stretch starting from Lambert lane up to Ghanta Ghar  is dotted with potholes.

Although the project work has been completed, the construction material lies scattered while the roads are yet to be macadamized.

Sumaiya Khan, a resident of Safa Kadal, recently fell off her scooter near Regal Chowk while traveling home.

“My wheel got stuck in the construction material on the road,” she said. “Although I received minor injuries, bad condition of the roads can easily cause major accidents.”

A shopkeeper at Lal-Chowk, Ghulam Mohammad said, “Besides posing a threat to commuters, the broken roads act as an eye-sore in front of the shops. The authorities continue to sleep over the matter.”

Another shopkeeper added: “The deplorable state of the roads turns them into cesspools at mere showers. Time and again, the authorities promise action but fail to take it.”

Similarly situation is witnessed near Jahangir Chowk.

“I get stuck in a traffic jam every day. Despite leaving home an hour before the office time, I get late,” said Wasim Ahmad, a resident of Chanapora.

Likewise, the road near Iqbal Park, roads leading to Chanapora are also in a shabby condition.

An official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said, “The R&B department first makes the construction of roads then we have to spend a lot of money in making the drainage system and then on repairing of roads. Before any road construction, the drainage system shall be in place prior to that.”

He said the government has issued strict directions to departments to make coordination in developmental works.

Chief Engineer Roads & Buildings Department (R&B) Kashmir Sami Arif Yesvi said the construction work on underground drainage project in Lal Chowk was almost complete.

“We will be done within a week. The department is coordinating with SMC and once the work is over, it will be macadamized,” he added.