SOPIAN: Two vital bridges and an equal number of essential roads in south Kashmir’s Shopian district crave for reconstruction since 2014 floods. The locals said that the dilapidated condition of roads is causing umpteen hardships to the population.
The vital bridge at Batpora on Rambiara rivulet which bonds dozens of villages including Keller sub-district with district headquarters, was damaged in September 2014 floods has not been reconstructed. Residents of Nadpora, Manloo, Gatipora, Zrakan, Thyran, Vichura and adjoining villages said the dilapidated road is a constant cause of worry for them and affects their daily life. “It takes us 45 minutes to reach Shopian through this 5-kilometer stretch of bumpy and potholed road,” said a bank employee, Gowhar Ahmad Thoker, resident of Nadpora who is posted in Shopian.
Another resident from Gatipora village, Muhammad Raqeeb Rather, who is employee in Food Corporation of India at Baramulla told Kashmir Reader that it takes him more than 40 minutes to reach Shopian and not more than an hour to reach Srinagar.
Executive engineer Roads and Buildings division Shopian, Abdul Aziz Bhat told Kashmir Reader that they were working on the Batpora Bridge and till the end of 2017 they have expectations of the completion of bridge on rivulet. “We have approved a tender for the repairs and macdamisation of Shopian-Keller Road and work will be soon started on the road,” he said.
Interestingly, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had laid foundation stone of another bridge on the rivulet at Trenz-Babkhider village on Imamsahib-Arihal road in 2016 with a project cost of Rs 25 corers. However, not a penny has been spent on the construction of the bridge so far.
Due to the bad condition of road and absence of bridge on Rambiara rivulet, the cab services from Voterpora and Trenz were stopped by drivers as they refused to ply on the road due to the bad condition of the road. “Due to the deplorable road and risky diversion we stopped the service to save lives as well as our vehicles,” Shakeel Ahmad Khan, a cab driver of Voterpora, who used to ferry passengers on the said road said.
Executive engineer said the funds for the construction of Trenz bridge have not been sanctioned yet. “When the funds would be released, we will start the work,” he said adding last year, the department had constructed a makeshift bridge on the rivulet.