Shopian: Roads have never been macadamised in many villages in Shopian district that are dominated by a tribal population. Such villages include Tuhilhalan, Bon Devpora, Dar Mohalla, Krechpathri and other tribal areas. Residents demand that the road from Nagbal to Krechpathri, the lone road in the area, be either metalled or macadamised so that vehicles can move on it.
Shakeel Ahmad, a resident of Tuhilhalan village, told Kashmir Reader that the authorities last year macadamised a portion of road from Shopian town to Nagbal village. However, work on the two kilometers which connect to Tuhilhalan was abandoned.
Ahmad said that despite the issue being brought to the notice of higher authorities, the road still was not developed.
Bashir Ahmad Malik, another local resident, said that their area is disconnected from the rest of the valley for want of road connectivity. He said that people are forced to carry patients and elderly people using stretchers to hospital because the small path made by the authorities isn’t in a condition for vehicles to move on.
Villagers from the area said that the condition of the road is so bad than in winter bulldozers refuse to clear snow from it. “All of us are aware about the situation which occurred last year due to heavy snowfall. People died due to lack of road connectivity. But still the government is turning a deaf ear to our pleas,” said Abdul Rafi, another local resident.
He added that the lack of road connectivity has also taken a toll on the education of youth, who are unable to go to better schools or colleges.
Farooq Ahmad, Executive Engineer at the Roads and Buildings department Shopian, told Kashmir Reader that there are no funds to carry out work on the road.
“We will try to put it under some scheme but work on it will be carried out only when it gets approved and funds are released,” he said, adding that he will ask for a report from the engineer concerned.