Anantnag: Dozens of roads in main town Anantnag have been dug to lay sanitation pipes under “AMRUT” scheme, but have been left with only mud on the surface, much to the inconvenience and peril of the local population.
Three years have passed since the departments have been blaming each other for the mess.
The roads were dug up by the Urban Environment Engineering Department (UEED) in early 2018 under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), with an estimated cost of about 17 crore rupees.
The UEED dug dozens of busy roads within the main town to lay sanitation pipes under the project. For over a year, the locals say, the roads were left with huge potholes and mounds of debris, much to the inconvenience of the general public.
“The roads include KP road, Gulshanabad Road, Sarnal, Qazi Mohalla, Mehman Mohalla, Cheeni Chowk, Malaknag and some other really vital roads,” the locals told Kashmir Reader.
After many and regular complaints by the locals, the R&B department finally macadamised some of these roads. Many, however, continue to lie in shambles as the departments involved are passing the buck around.
“Interior roads in many places including Kadipora, Sarnal, Mehman Mohalla and Cheeni Chowk among other places have been closed only with earth filling after being dug up for the laying of pipes,” the locals said, adding that the roads have become a hazard.
Locals said that dozens of people have been injured after falling over these slippery roads, every time it rains. And otherwise, the locals say, these roads are a constant source of dust that affect the health of commuters and residents.
“We have been pleading with the authorities to mend these roads for more than two years now but no one is listening to us,” the locals said. “Whenever it rains, someone or the other falls and is injured but the authorities seem to be least bothered.”
Kashmir Reader talked to an official of the UEED who maintained that his department has already paid R&B for the damages. “They are supposed to take up the blacktopping now. Our department has already compensated them for the damages,” the official said.
R&B Executive Engineer for Anantnag, Javid Qazi, said that the work has been issued already and will be executed soon. “I was on leave and will enquire about it soon after I resume duty,” he said.
Qazi, however, maintained that his department will only macadamise roads where a road paver can be driven on. “That means roads with a width of 12ft and above,” he said.
The rest of the roads, Qazi said, were to be blacktopped by the Municipal Council Anantnag (MCA), “and they have been already paid for it,” he added.
Kashmir Reader tried talking to Assistant Commissioner Revenue Syed Yasir, who also heads the MCA as of now, and Chairman of the MCA, Hilal Shah. The two of them did not attend to the phone calls made by this reporter.