Twelve years on, the authorities are yet to take up the widening of a 2-km left-out stretch of the National Highway in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town leading to frequent traffic jams.
An official said that the work on the Donipawa-Sherpora-JanglatMandi stretch falling under the Kishtwar-Sinthan-Kokernag-Anantnag NH-244 road project has been almost shelved even as the preliminary Detailed Project Report (DPR) stands prepared.
“The Border Roads Organisation (Project BEACON) which was initially the executing agency for the project had already notified the road and done its valuation way back in the year 2007. However, the National Highway Authority of India that took over did not carry forward the process,” he said.
The official said that the government was now constructing a bypass along the banks of Aaripat, a tributary of the River Jhelum.
However, locals said that it would not ease the problem of traffic congestion either.
“Most of the brick kilns and educational institutes fall on this stretch. So, it is hardly going to serve any purpose,” said KausarMajidDalal of Deva Colony JanglatMandi.
“Almost everyone here is completely in favour of road widening but the authorities are not taking up the work on this stretch for reasons unknown,” said Rayees Ahmad Haqqani, another resident.
He said that the narrow road stretch witnesses massive traffic jams, causing immense hardships to the passengers while making the movement of pedestrians difficult.
“The road connects Kokernag and Shangus tehsils and several tourist spots to Anantnag town. It also leads to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Anantnag as a result of which patients suffer,” said Khurshid Ahmad Wani.
He said that the government should immediately remove the bottlenecks and direct the concerned agency to take up the work.