Bhaderwah now few miles away to world
CHAMBA ROAD TO COME ALIVE AFTER 30 YEARS
Bhaderwah, July 18: The captivating valley of Bhaderwah with its abundant natural beauty is now only few miles away to the outer world through the once forsaken Chamba road, the up-gradation and restoration work on which, though not at the desired pace, is in progress.
The representatives from the executing agency claim that about 80 percent of widening work on the road has already been completed, while soiling and mantling over 12 kilometer stretch from Bhaderwah side is complete. However, locals say it would take three more years to complete the road in all respects.
Traversing through a huge range of black cedar laden mountains, the 49.5 kilometer road, which is being upgraded to two-lane, would connect the valley to the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and at the same time provide Jammu and Kashmir a reliable alternate link with the rest of the country.
Pertinently, the road that came into being about 20 years ago, remained idle all these years in absence of proper maintenance- denying the people of Bhaderwah from the benefits which are being anticipated once the link was opened for the traffic.
The up-gradation work on the road was tendered out to a Delhi based firm, the Mittal Gharak Company Private Ltd (MGCPL) in May 2010 at an estimated cost of Rs 73 crores with the government setting two years deadline for the complete restoration of the road.
While the widening work on the road is in progress since last over one year, the locals say, tough terrain and limited working season coupled with lack of coordination between the executing agency and the government may likely delay the restoration work.
Sources said the executing agency had already sought extension of one year for the completion of the road as in more than a year, the company had been able to complete the soiling and macadamization work on only 12 kilometer stretch, but the construction of culverts along this portion was yet to be completed. “The surfacing and leveling work is almost complete on the 12 kilometer stretch, but the construction of culverts that are about half dozen in number, has been started recently and take lot of time. Moreover, while widening work on the rest of the portion is also going on, but there are certain tough points which will hamper the pace of work” said a local contractor working with the company.
He said though 80 percent of the cutting work had been completed up to 44 kilometer, the construction of retaining walls, minor bridges and culverts along this portion was a tedious task and can take about two more years. “In my opinion it will take about four years to complete the road in all respects.
“Locals have pinned great hopes with the road as on its opening a considerable number of tourists, both domestic and foreign visiting the already famous spots of HP are expected to enter Jammu and Kashmir through Bhaderwah, providing the locals an opportunity to reap the benefits of the lucrative tourism industry” said Hassan Muhammad of Thanala the last major habitation on Jammu and Kashmir side along the road.
He said the 49.5 kilometer road stretch up to Hundi Maral, the last point of Jammu and Kashmir, beyond which the area of Himachal Pardesh starts, offers a thrilling drive amid captivating landscape and natural beauty.
“The road would connect the unexplored and highly potential tourist attraction spots of Thanala, Khani Top, Padri and Bal Padri. These spots situated amid snow caped mountainous range and surrounded by lush green meadows and glaciers could attract the nature lovers, adventure and leisure tourists”, he hoped. He however said there was a need for greater synergy between the road construction firm and the government to ensure that the road was completed in the stipulated time.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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