Dilapidated roads in Beerwah belie government claims

Dilapidated roads in Beerwah belie government claims
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BUDGAM: Potholed and dilapidated roads in many areas of Beerwah constituency in Budgam district are giving tough time to residents.
Despite the Roads and Buildings department claiming to have repaired maximum roads in Budgam this year, residents of Kawoosa Khalisa, Cheki-Kawoosa, Bachipora and Nowpora say the reality on the ground was entirely different.
The area is represented by the former chief minister Omar Abdullah as a legislator since 2104.
Sheikh Adil, a resident of Kawoosa Khalisa, said the condition of the road makes it difficult to drive or “to even walk on it”.
“During the rains, we have to watch out for potholes,” Adil said. “Whenever our elders venture out, or students leave for schools, they take off their shoes to wade through the water logged streets for miles.”
Another local youth, Umar Khalid, said the six-kilometre stretch from Kawoosa Khalisa stop to Chinar Colony Narbal and from Bachipora village to Kawoosa canal are in a pathetic state and mostly remain inundated with water.
“Few more roads have been built in the recent past to connect our colony but they are also riddled with potholes. This poses danger to people as many minor accidents have occurred on these stretches,” Khalid said.
He added that lack of coordination between various government departments was causing the problems.
An elderly man, Ghulam Ahmad Khan, said that in 2001 the said road was macadamised “for the first and last time in my entire life”.
In 17 years, since then, the road has turned “into a kind of flood channel which stores water for months”, he said.
During these two decades, the six-kilometre stretch, though, was repaired once or twice but that could not sustain for too long, Khan said.
In 2014, when devasting floods hit Kashmir valley, the area was also inundated for months. During that time, the road got fully damaged but till date no repairs were made, Khan added.
Another local shopkeeper said that in rainy season the road remains inundated with water and in summers dust raised by the vehicles leads to many diseases among residents.
The residents lamented that despite the area being represented by former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, it remains bereft of basic facilities.
“Even the basic necessities including water, power, roads etc are missing,” several residents said.
They also sought intervention of state Governor to address the long pending issues.
Executive Engineer Road and Building, Asgar Ali Watali said that he would look into the issue.