Narrow culvert on Hajin-Sopore road awaits repair; locals aghast

BANDIPORA: Despite being earmarked under the NABARD project, the critical repair work on a perilously narrow culvert along the bustling Hajin-Sopore road in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is yet to commence, leaving locals in dismay.
The narrow culvert, situated near Bonikhan Hajin, has been the site of numerous accidents over the past several years, resulting in multiple casualties and injuries. Despite the gravity of the situation, authorities have failed to initiate necessary measures to address the issue.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, locals expressed their frustration with the lack of action, asserting that the district administration has turned a blind eye to the dangerous conditions prevailing at this location.
Despite a contractor starting work on the culvert last year, including the construction of a diversion, the efforts were abruptly halted, with the reasons remaining unclear to the community. This has only intensified the concerns of residents who fail to comprehend the delay in rectifying a known hazard.
The locals underscored that the NABARD project already encompasses the repair of this culvert, yet the contractor has not resumed work, causing significant problems for both residents and transporters alike.
Repeated attempts to bring this issue to the attention of the concerned department have proven futile, leaving the community puzzled as to why authorities are indifferent to a matter that directly impacts people’s lives, according to Sajad Ahmad.
Bashir Ahmad, another resident, highlighted the culvert as a major bottleneck affecting the smooth flow of traffic. Despite the road’s width, the narrow culvert poses a significant challenge for drivers, leading to hesitancy and frequent slowdowns, often resulting in accidents.
Expressing their concerns, the locals have appealed to Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shakeel Ul Rehman, to personally investigate the matter and instruct the relevant department to expedite the widening work on the culvert, emphasizing the urgent need to prevent further loss of lives.
Addressing the issue, Executive Engineer of R&B Division Sumbal, assured that the widening work on the culvert at Bonikhen Hajin Shahgund road will commence this month.

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