Budgam protesters block tracks against R&B ‘delaying tactics’

Budgam protesters block tracks against R&B ‘delaying tactics’
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BUDGAM: Hundreds of residents staged a protest Saturday against the “delaying tactics” of the Road and Building department in carrying out the macadamisation of a six kilometre-long road stretch in Budgam district.
The people of different villages, including Bandgam, Nadigam, Razwan, Charhar, Wahabpora and many other villages, hit the streets on the early morning of Saturday and blocked the railway track to mark their protest against the “dilapatidated” condition of the area’s roads.
Erecting barracdes over the railway track, they blocked the track and hampered rail movement in North and Central Kashmir.
Talking to Kashmir Reade, Gulzar Ahmad Parray, a resident of Bandgam, said that the said six kilometre stretch connecting these villages at Wadwan and Razwan is in the worst state possible.
“The roads remain inundated with water throughout the year and create inconvenience to commuters and vehicles using it,” he added.
Haji Abdul Ahad, a protector, said, “The worst-affected are our school-going kids. They have to wade through muddy water to reach their destinations. During rains they mostly stay indoors.”
He also alleged that the “delaying tactics” of the R&B department over macadamising the roads have forced us to block the railway track”.
Shabir Ahmad Paray, another local, said that the department was supposed to macadamise this road last year, but for unknown reasons it has been delayed for over a year now.
“In September last year, the department advertised the tender worth Rs 2.36 crore for the road but nothing has happened since then,” he said.
“All the link roads, lanes and blames have been macadamised in our area but we have been deliberately neglected by the department,” he rued.
The protests ended peacefully after the district adminstration visited the spot and held a meeting with the public representatives of the area at DC Office, Budgam.
“They assured us that the work on the said road stretch would be started in next ten days on priority basis,” the locals said, quoting officials.
Executive Engineer R&B, Budgam, Asger Ali Watali told Kashmir Reader that they will start the work on the road soon.
“We have sent the scheme to the government under NABARD and are waiting for the approval,” he added.
He said, “We have sent the project to the government last year also, but it was not approved, hence we are sending it again this year.”