ANANTNAG: Many roads in Pahalgam and Bijbehara Assembly constituencies are in a dilapidated condition.
The key roads including Srigufwara-Mattan road, Sallar-Yanner road, Sakhras-Akad road, Akura-Poskreeri, Hugam-Nambal road, and Circuit road, the only alternate road leading to Pahalgam town, are in a bad shape. These roads have developed big potholes and during even minor showers they present the look of muddy paths. Srigufwara-Mattan road is so damaged that most of the drivers of passenger vehicles have stopped plying on it. “Our vehicles have suffered heavy damages while plying on the route. Many drivers who were yet to clear the loans of their vehicles have now decided to stop plying on the road. After Eid all of us may stop plying on the road if it isn’t repaired till then,” a group of Sumo drivers told Kashmir Reader.
The condition of the Sallar-Yanner road, the shortest alternate route to Pahalgam, is much worse. Locals say that bumpy and potholed road gets inundated even during slight rains causing inconvenience to the pedestrians as well. “Most of the tourists visiting Pahalgam prefer this road for being shortest one, but the authorities seem to be least bothered about its repair,” said a resident, Gulzar Ahmad.
The Hugam-Nambal road and Akura road are in such a bad condition that the people of the villages located on these roads prefer not to use their personal vehicles, fearing damage to them. “We don’t exactly remember when the road was repaired last time. Nobody has bothered to macadamize the road. We only vote for bijli, sadak, and paani, but when these politicians cannot even provide the same what should we vote,” said a group of residents of Akura.
The scenic Circuit road, the only alternate road to Pahalgam town, is also bumpy giving tough times not only to the tourists but hotel and hut owners located along the road as well.
When contacted MLA Pahalgam, Rafi Ahmad Mir blamed paucity of funds for delay in repairing or black topping of the roads.
“I have at least seven main roads in my constituency which are badly damaged. But the government has no funds to repair them. The government seems to have gone bankrupt,” Mir told Kashmir Reader.
He, however, said that he is trying his best to get all the damaged roads repaired on priority basis.