Dilapidated roads mar Pahalgam beauty

SHABIR AHMAD
PAHALGAM: Pahalgam might be favorite destination for tourists, but the condition of the roads here continues to mar its beauty.
All the vital and link roads leading to different villages in the peripheries of the town are in a dilapidated condition for past few years. For instance, Circuit Road, the only alternate road to Pahalgam town, is dotted with big potholes. “Though dozens of huts and hotels are located along the road, due to its bad condition drivers of the tourist cabs choose the main road because of fear of damage to their vehicles,” a group of hoteliers told Kashmir Reader.
They said the road gets inundated even due to slight rains. “The damaged road badly tells upon our business,” said a hotelier, Bashir Ahmad.
The condition of the Aru road is no better. The road which passes through the mountainous terrain has developed so many big pot holes that drivers clearly refuse to go to the spot. “Though a patch of the road was repaired and macadamized few years ago, the rest of the road remains damaged. The drivers are hesitant to ferry tourists here as they their vehicles suffer damages on the road,” the shopkeepers in Aru said.
Other link roads leading to A-class hotels and other scenic spots like Baisaran are equally damaged.
Officials blame the dual control of the roads for the mess. “We recently floated tenders for all the link roads falling in our jurisdiction and later allotted work to a contractor. In next two weeks you will see all link roads macadamized,” the Chief Executive Officer of Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA), Riyaz Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
He, however, said the Circuit Road and Aru road fall under the jurisdiction of Roads and Buildings Department.
“The dual control of these roads leads to delay in their repair. Even then I have taken up the issue with the R and B authorities many a time, but they seem least bothered,” the CEO said.