Reyaz Rashid

Pathetic condition of Srinagar-Muz'bad highway exposes hollowness of ‘Road Safety Week’

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Baramulla, Feb 15: While government in Jammu and Kashmir continues to observe 30th ‘Road Safety Week’ with the theme ‘Sadak Suraksha Jeewan Raksha’, the pathetic condition Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway and other roads in Baramulla exposes the hollowness of this much-hyped campaign.

Few months ago, the roads across the town and highway were macadamized by Roads and Building (R&B) department and BEACON’s 53 RCC but they have turned bumpy with huge potholes filled with water leading to hardships and inconvenience to the people.

The face of the town and arterial Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway from Khawjabagh to Khanpora Baramulla is extensively damaged and in dilapidated condition. Spotted with innumerable potholes filled with water make has made movement of traffic and pedestrian extremely difficult. It gives nightmarish experience to residents and passenger vehicles because the road is badly damaged.

With elected representatives, BEACON and officials paying little attention to carry out repairs and maintenance, the highway is in shambles with no one bothers to pay any attention.

“We find it extremely difficult to travel and drive due to the pathetic and dilapidated condition of roads in the town particularly of Srinagar-Muzzafarbad highway from Khawjabagh to Khanpora. Besides the bumpy causing several body aches, damage vehicles and patient suffer manifold in rainy season. The private car drivers and two-wheelers often face grave problems,” said Bashir Ahmed an elderly bus driver.

Traders and local residents of the town complain that they have been facing immense problems due to the road’s bad condition and people from adjoining villages prefer other routes and customers didn’t like to travel to Baramulla.

“We appeal to the concerned authorities to look into the matter and take speedy action in this regard as people are facing a lot of problems due to pathetic condition of the road here,” another local Shabir Ahmed said.

“Baramulla town and its adjoining areas the worst neglected and discriminated so as far development and basic amenities like roads, power and water is concerned,” said General Secretary Engineer Tariq Ahmad Magloo.

He informed that town’s heritage SRTC Bridge, damaged in 2014 deluge is yet to get reconstructed. “See this is the face of the town and it is condition of highway not to talk of inner links. We demand action against those who macadamized the roads last year and looted state exchequer,” lamented Magloo.

With huge flow of traffic on the highway, the innumerable potholes and patches cause frequent mishaps, traffic-jams adding to the woes commuters and transporters.

Transporters community of town is also facing the brunt of this road in shambles.

“We have to spend more money on repairing vehicles, than we earn daily,” said a minibus driver Fayez Ahmed Bhat. Drivers said that four to four kilometers stretch from Khawjabagh to Khanpora consumes them more than half an hour.

“It was drive of only five minutes if roads would have been in proper shape," they added.

Baramulla, another Aspirational District in north Kashmir, has also improved its ranking from 55 to 30 in the latest rankings released by NITI Aayog but the ground reality speaks much louder.

When contacted Executive Engineer Road and Buildings (R&B) Baramulla Abdul Rashid, he said, “Due to harsh winter and heavy snowfall, roads have to cleared due to which roads suffered damage.”

“Water logging on newly macadamized roads damaged them badly. We have kept them in new projects we will take care of them,” added Exn R&B Abdul Rashid.

Regarding pathetic condition of highway, Officer Commanding BEACON 53 RCC Akash Agarwal talking to Kashmir Images admitted that the highway is in shambles and efforts are on if weather permits  to repair it.

“The climate this winter was very unfavorable and highway in Baramulla will be macadamized soon provided weather allows us,” he added.

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