Abid Hussain

Budgam goes dark as PDD fails to reinstall streetlight

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Budgam, Aug 31: As dusk falls, the main chowk of Budgam wears a darker look as not even a single streetlight has been installed here.

According to locals, though there was one such streetlight which would illuminate the main chowk but it was removed by Power Development Department (PDD) in 2017 to change its position and install a superior one.

They said that initially they resisted the move, but after PDD promised that the streetlight would be installed in few days, they allowed them to do so. However, till date the concerned department has either forgotten or failed to install it.

After public outcry, PDD constructed plinth for light but quickly abandoned it.

“We visited PDD umpteen times after the streetlight was removed but we were baffled every time. In order to pacify us, they constructed a plinth but didn’t install the streetlight.”

In absence of light, commuters are facing problems during nightime. Mohsin Ali, a local said that people are facing issues while walking through main chowk during night and authorities seems to be in no mood to ease their sufferings.

When contacted PDD Executive Engineer, Nasrullah Jan categorically said that streetlight would not be installed in coming days.

“It was a 13-crore project to install streetlights in the Valley and more than 50 percent work has been already done. But the contractor has 6-crore liability and not even a single penny has been released so far which has made the contractor to stop work.”

However, locals rebutted Jan, saying that if PDD was interested in installing a streetlight, they would have found other alternatives.

Further, besides PDD, residents of Budgam also blamed both the district administration and local MLA for the mess.

They added that Budgam town has always faced “step motherly treatment and was discriminated by successive governments and administrations.”

“It is sheer negligence of authorities that historical Budgam chowk is without a streetlight.”

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