Srinagar-Bandipora highway: Heck of a ride for commuters

Srinagar-Bandipora highway: Heck of a ride for commuters

Ejaz-ul-Haq
Bandipora: Due to the shabby condition of Srinagar- Bandipora highway, the 54 km travel is becoming very cumbersome for people.
The highway has not been macadamized for the past seven years leading to deterioration of the highway at many places.
The frequent commuters, mostly students and government employees, from Bandipora to Srinagar said they face severe hardships while traveling via the highway. “The bad shape of roads makes our travel very difficult. It takes us longer than usual to reach to our destinations,” said Jahangeer Khan, a Kashmir University student.
Taking a jibe at the state authorities, Jahangeer said the government should start water transport via Wular Lake, as used to be the practice in past.
Last the road was macadamized in 2008 and the patch work was done in the year 2010 at some places but not to the extent it needed.
Most of the drivers and commuters who drive down on the road complained about health complications like backache and allergy. Many persons had been advised by doctors not to undertake the journey as it would add to their health related problems.
“The dust raising from these potholes cause more inconvenience to us,’’ said Aabid Hussain, a government employee.
The road from Ajas to Saderkoot Bala is in worst condition.
“Our vehicles suffer extensive damage due to the poor condition of the road and we have to take our vehicles for repairs quite often,” said Mohammad Aslam, a driver.
Complaining about the authorities, locals said that, despite repeated pleas to the concerned officials, they haven’t done anything substantial about the repairing of the road.
The locals and drivers, whose vehicles are plying on the highway, have accused the BEACON authorities of turning blind eye towards the dilapidated condition of the road.
“The BEACON has completely failed to maintain the highway, making it difficult to travel on this road,” locals and drivers accused.
However, chief engineer BEACON, A.K Das when contacted told Kashmir Reader that the patch work from SK Bala to Ajas has already been started and the resurfacing of the 6-km road stretch of Sumbal-Bandipora road will be started in September this year.
“The macadamization work on 600 to 800 metre road in Bandipora town is in progress,” he added.
The Srinagar-Bandipora road was handed over to BEACON in September 2011 as per the Board Decision taken under the chairmanship of then Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.