Tral: Resdients of dozens of villages along the Tral-Aripal road in Pulwama district might have to wait a few more years to see the road getting black topped.
The road, locals say, has not been macadamized in about 12 years and now that a project has been approved to widen and black top it the work is too slow for their liking.
The “widening and black topping” project of the 11 kilometer stretch is worth 34 Crore Rupees and has been undertaken by the Roads and Buildings department.
The government after approval of the project had set a tentative deadline of a year for completion of the project.
However around seven months have already passed and the project is way behind the deadline.
“We have been living in a literal nightmare for as long as we remember now. These 11 Kilometers take us more than 45 minutes to travel given the pathetic condition of the road,” an Aripal resident told Kashmir Reader.
Resdients said that the road becomes a nuisance of another level when somebody falls ill and needs to be taken to the hospital in Tral or elsewhere.
The project, locals say, was a glimmer of hope but the slow pace of work was killing the hope.
“We thought our woes will have an age limit of a year now. But at the pace the work is going on it seems unlikely that the project will be completed any time soon in future. It might take a few years,” the locals rue.
The local lawmaker, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, told Kashmir Reader that the deteriorating security situation was the biggest reason for the slow pace of work.
“The road will be getting macadamized in years and it’s one of a kind project as far as the Tral-Satoora stretch is concerned. This is for the first time that such huge money has been allocated to the stretch,” Shah said.
He lamented that shutdowns, every now and then, were not allowing the work to go on in a smooth manner.
Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of the R&B, Zahoor Ahmad, on the other hand expressed hope that a part of the project will be completed by the end of the deadline.
“I think around 5-6 Kilometers will be blacktopped before the deadline is over,” he said, adding that the recent shutdowns and inclement weather has meant that the work slowed down.
“Otherwise the work is going on at a good pace since the very beginning,” he said.