SRINAGAR: After being waterlogged for a week, vehicles are moving at snail’s pace here at Lane 4 at Iqbalabad Bemina on Friday. Driving amid clouds of dust rising from the road, drivers are desperately negotiating large puddles, which they could not because there is not any normal surface left.
Lane 4 is half-a-kilometre stretch with eight sectors and around 500 households. The whole stretch was submerged in rain water a couple of days ago when incessant rains lashed the Valley. Apart from the main road, the by-lanes too are dilapidated and some still waterlogged.
According to the locals, the road is in “terrible condition” from last many years after the work on the drainage was started. Since then, locals said, the road is in “ruins”.
The residents said they approached Chief Minister Grevieance cell last year and registered a complaint in vain. “So far, one and a half year has passed but nothing occurred except for assurances from Roads and Buildings department,” said a resident. He accused a senior engineer at Srinagar division of “misleading” residents and demanded that action be initiated against him by the Governor NN Vohra.
“We will separately write to the Governor so that such disgruntled officers are shunted out for taking people on ride. We want the Governor to intervene and order the Roads and Buildings department to macadamise the road,” he said.
A youth Zaid Majeed, the condition of the road has been same since 2014 floods.
“We shifted here after the floods and the condition of the road was the same. Even after the work on the drainage was completed but work on macdamisation was never started,” said Zaid.
“Look at the condition of the road it looks like a mountainous terrain far away from the city. Even villages have better roads then here,” Zaid said.
After the water-logging problem a couple of days ago which made the movement of people and vehicles in the area difficult, the residents now face another problem of dust rising from the muck which had assembled on the road by the rain water. Most of the pedestrians and bikers had covered their faces with some cloth to avoid inhaling the dusty air.
“You know when we buy curd from the market and by the time we reach our home it turns into a milkshake,” Zaid said with a laugh, summarising the problems in a joke.
Similarly, residents from Lane 1 of the same area, which is also around half-a-kilometre and connects directly with Batamloo from Bemina, alleged the government of “ruining” the road with the drainage work which has been going on since a year now. The lane runs by the side of Tatto ground and, according to the locals, was in a good condition and properly macadamised.
“After the work on the drainage started the road was out-of-bound for vehicles for many months and now when the work is over they are not levelling the road,” said Abdul Rasheed, a shopkeeper in lane one.
“We have to face huge problems and a couple of days ago the whole road was filled with water and there was not a single patch of dry road from where we could have walked without spoiling our shoes and clothes,” Rasheed said.
Locals said that they talked to the contractor about levelling the road from the where the work is completed but it seems that he wants to lay pipes on the whole stretch first and then level the road.
Chief Engineer, Roads and Buildings department, Arif Sami, told Kashmir Reader that they will “definitely look into the matter”.
“We will take a look at these issues and will try to complete the work as soon as possible,” Arif said.