Locals, tourists made to suffer
Anantnag: Left without any macadamisation for more than a decade now, the Aishmuqam-Pahalgam stretch of the Khannabal-Pahalgam (KP) road is in absolute shambles.
The pathetic condition of the road is causing severe inconvenience to the residents along the stretch as well as to tourists visiting the famous tourist spot of Pahalgam.
As per sources in the Roads and Buildings (R&B) Department, this 20 kilometre stretch was blacktopped in around the year 2007.
“Since then, the department has recieved no funds for this particular stretch,” an official in the R&B Department told Kashmir Reader.
He said despite efforts made by the concerned officials, nothing was done to take care of the situation.
“This was despite the fact that in 2015 the KP road was macdamised upto Seer Hamdan, only a few kilometres ahead of Aishmuqam,” the official said.
He expressed ignorance as to why the Aishmuqam-Pahalgam stretch had been so ignored.
“I have no idea,” the official said.
The indifference has prevailed despite the fact that the road is vital for tourism and the annual Amarnath Yatra.
The residents living along the stretch whom Kashmir Reader talked to said that the road has seen only patchwork ahead of the yearly Amarnath Yatra.
“For the rest of the time, they do not care what the general public is going through. Their only aim is smooth conduct of the Yatra,” Slaeem Ahmad, a resident of Batkoot village, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the authorities only carry out some patchwork on the road when the Yatra begins and then forget about it. As a result, agreed other locals, it has become a nightmare to travel on this stretch of the road.
“It takes an hour to cover this 20 km stretch. And if a patient is ferried on the road, you can only imagine what he goes through,” the locals said.
Kashmir Reader talked to Executive Engineer, R&B Anantnag, Muhammad Ayoub in this regard.
He said that the road is being widened and will be blacktopped later this year – “hopefully,” he added.
“There were no funds earlier. The project was approved only last year. The stretch is being widened now and will soon be blacktopped,” the official waid.