Slow pace on Shopian-Litter road annoys residents

Slow pace on Shopian-Litter road annoys residents
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Say road in worse condition than before

SHOPIAN: Slow pace of work on Shopian-Litter road is giving tough time to commuters, as the road widening project started in March 2017 has left the road worse off than before.
The road connects some 100 villages with Shopian district headquarter and is their main link to Pulwama and Anantnag districts.
“It takes us almost two hours to reach Shopian in a cab. The work had added to problems of people than solving it because the contractors bulldozed the previous macadamized road and started widening of road. They work for couple of days then go off for months,” Syed Suja, a resident of Turkwangam said.
Students from the area said that they are the worst hit by the appalling condition of road.
“We reach school late because no passenger cabs ply on the road because of its condition,” Musaib Ahmad, an undergraduate student of Shopian college said while demanding speedy completion of the work.
Local residents claimed that the authorities have told them after completion of widening, government will macadamize only the portion which was macadamized before the widening.
They questioned the purpose of the widening, if only the previous portion is to be macadmised.
“We demand speedy completion of road widening and black topping for at least 20 feet width, else we will go for a strike,” said Nazir Ahmad Thoker, a local resident.
Other residents alleged that the contractors have not widened the road at all places.
“They left those areas where the people have political or official support. When government has to spent money on a project then the road should be same at every place without sparing anyone because everyone should be equal before law,” Javid Ahmad from Pinjora, a local resident whose land came under acquisition said. While his land was taken for widening, some meters away, he said, road widening has not taken place.
Executive engineer PMGSY, Shopian, Nazir Ahmad Banday said that department will start macadamization of road from the first week of May.
As per official records, Rs 20 crores were sanctioned for the 16 kilometers road stretch, but Banday said, only Rs 17 crore were provided.
“We cannot complete works like embankment at all places plus we have to pay compensation at places. At a couple of places land owners are not letting us to work, otherwise wherever the widening is pending, we will do that,” he said.
He said they have sought more funds from authorities and are waiting for the reply.
“Only 12 feet wide road can be blacktopped as only that much is sanctioned, if they (government) sanction more then we will cover more,” he said.