38 yrs on, Bhatyas-Chilly road awaits completion
25,000 population still travels on foot, horseback
Gandoh, Aug 10: With just couple of days left when India will celebrate its 64th Independence Day, inhabitants of half-a-dozen villages in Gandoh tehsil of mountainous Doda district are still moving around in medieval times.
Villagers of far-flung Galli, Haddal, Batholi, Manoo and Kuitha cover the distance of several kilometers either on foot or on horseback because there is no road connectivity. The only road link Bhatyas-Chilly to these areas, having a total length of 23 km, has been waiting completion for the last 38 years.
The foundation of the road was laid way back in 1973 and since then its awaiting completion. Though executing agencies have completed the construction on 11 km stretch, only seven kilometers are at present motorable. Alongside Bhatyas-Chilly road, there are 10 villages. After the completion of the road, Sawara, Malai, Galli, Haddal, Manoo, Kuitha, Chilly Balla, Chilly Pani and Batholi villages are to be benefited. The approximate population of these villages is 25,000 but transportation has remained an unfulfilled dream for them so far. Construction work on the road was going on with snail’s pace for the past 38 years. A 12-km-long stretch is yet under construction.
“We cover several miles on foot or horseback to reach Galli where we can avail the facility of bus or mini-bus. People are still living in extreme poverty and are moving around in medieval times. We don’t think that our dream of better road connectivity up to Chilly will ever become a reality,” Ghulam Mohammad, an inhabitant of village Manoo told Greater Kashmir.
A villager of Batholi, Khalid Hussain remarked, “These are some villages where people have never seen the buses and mini-buses. They cover long distance on horseback without much trouble. These areas remained under-developed and reel under extreme poverty. Our children have failed to get quality education due to non-availability of transportation and nothing worse than this could be expected.”
On March 1973, the then MLA from Inderwal-Bhaderwah assembly segment Abdul Gani Goni laid the foundation stone of the road but only half-a -kilometer was completed duirng his tenure.
Another one kilometer was completed during the tenure of Goni’s successor Ghulam Mohammad Bhaderwahi from 1977 to 1987. The road remained in a state of utter neglect due to militancy and law & order problem from 1990 to 1996.
Bhatyas-Chilly road did not see much development during the tenure of Mohammad Sharied Niaz and Sheikh Abdul Rehman. Bhaderwah and Inderwal assembly segment were made separate assembly segments but it did not change scenario for the inhabitants of these 10 villages.
Later, when Mohammad Sharief Niaz again became the MLA, he took the project on priority but it again failed to yield positive outcome. It was only after the victory of Ghulam Nabi Azad from Bhaderwah assembly segment in 2005 that he prioritized the road project and construction on the road was resumed under the Central Road Fund (CRF).
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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