Bikes skid, traffic jams, pedestrians have nowhere to walk
Shopian: To add to the traffic mess on the roads of Shopian, a new impediment has arisen: heaps of construction material lying on the roads, for months, resulting in accidents and traffic jams.
A couple of years ago, one bike rider succumbed to the injuries he sustained when his motorcycle slipped on cow dung and he fell upon steel rods which a resident of Voterpora village had put on the road. The steel rod pierced his neck and he died in minutes. No action was still taken against people who use roads to keep their construction material upon.
Precisely because this practice has not been met with any official action, it has emboldened more people to place such material on roads. It is not a problem in any particular area but in most of the district, where the general public and particularly commuters bear its brunt.
According to locals from Vehil and Kachdoora villages of Shopian, many people have unloaded gravel and boulders from lorries onto the road and have thus occupied half of the road space. They said that a steel seller at Kachdoora village is using the road to keep iron rods on it.
“Leave alone the footpath, they have even occupied the roads,” Aqib Ahmad, a local resident, said.
Mubashir Ahmad, who travels to Shopian on a daily basis for his business, said that it takes him double the usual time to reach Shopian as at every village people have placed construction material on roads.
“Bikes skid on the gravel and it often results in injuries,” he said, adding that he many times asked people why they were doing so but they told him to mind his own business.
In the town areas, this practice results in frequent traffic jams and problems for pedestrians. Complaints were voiced by people living along the Shopian-Turkwangam road, the Shopian-Srinagar road, and other major roads.
“Violators should be dealt with strictly to teach a lesson to others,” Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Shopian town, said.
What people do after placing construction material on roads is that they bring bulldozers to lift it to the site where it is needed. This further damages the tar coating of the roads.
Farooq Ahmad, Executive Engineer at the Roads and Buildings Department in Shopian, acknowledged that roads in Shopian are being used to place construction material upon.
“I myself saw it at many places. We have raised this issue with Deputy Commissioner Shopian and people will be strictly fined if they use roads for such purposes,” he said, adding that the department has also told the police to register cases against such persons.