Shopian, Apr 14: An inordinate delay in the widening and construction of Shopian - Bijbehara road is taking its toll on daily commuters and residents of dozens of villages in south Kashmir's Shopian district.
The construction work on 27-Km long arterial road has been lingering on since 2017 with only 12.5 kms completed so far.
Although the authorities say that the work on another seven kms is going on, the local residents in the area outrightly refuse to buy the official version.
The construction and widening of the Shopian- Bijbehara road was taken up under Centre Road Fund (CRF) and Rs 49 crores were sanctioned for the construction of 12 kms during the first leg of the project in 2016 - 2017.
"Initially the construction work went on spasmodically due to some legal issue but later the work was carried out in double shifts and a 12. 5 Km stretch was completed in 2018", said an official.
According to the official, the work was stopped again due to the paucity of funds.
The road connects at least 90 villages including Imamsahab, Nagbal, Chitragam, Hillow and Zainpora with Bijbehera, and is the shortest route connecting two south Kashmir districts.
Due to the dilapidated condition of the road, many commuters complained of pain in their spine.
Mudasir Ahmad, a local resident of Shopian told Greater Kashmir that he was suffering from a bad back due to the deplorable condition of the road.
"The road is dotted with hundreds of potholes and driving along the road causes orthopedic issues. I am suffering from acute backache as I travel regularly on the road", Ahmad said.
He said that the rundown condition of the road also caused damage to the vehicle and it was one of the key reasons that many can drivers were reluctant to commute along the road.
Mudasir Ahmad Bhat , another resident from Chitragam village said that when R & B officials started the construction process they dug the road at multiple locations to shift the utility lines.
However, when the authorities, Bhat said , stopped the work , they abandoned the road without mending it.
Executive Engineer, R & B Division Shopian, Farooq Ahmad Khanday told Greater Kashmir that the work on seven more kilometers was going on and the tenders for another seven Kms would be invited soon.