Pulwama: At least a kilometre’s stretch of a recently widened road here in Pulwama district has been left un-macadamised, causing severe hassle to the locals, including pedestrians and commuters.
This Sundrigund to Malangpora stretch, near Awantipora, is in absolute shambles with big potholes that remain filled with water almost throughout the year.
The locals lament that the stretch was left untouched by authorities even after the widening and macadamisation of the Malangpora-Panzgam road. “Only last year the road was widened and macadamised, but for reasons better known to the authorities this particular stretch was left completely untouched,” the locals told Kashmir Reader.
They said that the purpose of widening the road is defeated when an important stretch is left unattended. “It is in such bad shape that it takes 15 minutes to tread this road stretch. What is the fun of blacktopping the rest of the road?” the locals ask.
The residents of several villages, including Sundrigund and Malangpora, are dependent on the road. They rue that it has become a health hazard and a severe inconvenience for the locals, for the elderly and children in particular.
“Every morning we have to carry our children through this patch. If they are lucky and do not fall into a pothole, their uniform will surely be messed with dirt and mud,” the locals said, adding that the elderly people of the village also find it difficult to tread over this stretch.
And, the locals said, if the weather remained dry for a long while and water is not logged in the potholes, “the dust keeps emanating from the stretch, making people sick with respiratory infections.”
Being a vital road for many villages and their only way to the NH-44 and to Awantipora, its condition is also a hassle for patients being ferried to hospitals and/or pregnant women travelling along the road.
“We have been bringing the pathetic condition of this road to the authorities repeatedly, but no action has been taken thus far. We are not even given satisfactory answers on why this stretch was left out of a road that has been widened and macadamised,” the locals told Kashmir Reader.
The Executive Engineer Roads and Buildings Department in Pulwama could not be reached despite repeated attempts by this reporter.