PMGSY projects fail to deliver quality roads in Bandipora

PMGSY projects fail to deliver quality roads in Bandipora
Representational Pic

Bandipora, Aug 20: Even though there are exceptions, several roads in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district are in bad shape, non-commutable, or blocked due to the poor execution and maintenance of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) projects.

The PMGSY, a rural road development scheme, was supposed to connect far-off villages of the district.

However, the locals and Panchayat Raj Institution (PRI) members say the lack of proper scientific techniques and upkeep had rendered them nearly useless as no drainages or protection walls had made them slide-prone.

They said that besides this, lack of accountability on part of the contractors was also to blame.

One such example is the 12-km road connecting Kaloosa (Gurdal) with Aloosa on the outskirts of Bandipora.

“It also serves as a bypass on certain occasions,” said Asif Shafi, a local.

“The road is in a bad shape with deep potholes just two years after the repairs were initiated,” he said.

The locals say that the work on the road had been intermittent, with long pauses of no work, which had frustrated scores of villagers who use it for the commute.

“The macadamisation was substandard,” they said. “Heavy rains washed it off within days, exposing the criminal mindset of the contractors and the department involved.”

They accused the department of being insensitive to the needs of the people and said that they were suffering due to its inefficiency and scarcity or proper disposal of funds.

Officials said that there had been internal shortcomings that affected the construction of the road.

“The contractor was adamant not to work. We even tried to blacklist him as he demanded revisions,” said an official who earlier worked on the project.

Assistant Executive Engineer of PMGSY Parvez Chalkoo told Greater Kashmir that the revision request was sent to the higher officials 20 days ago and they expect work to resume soon.

An official said that an external agency was inspecting the road construction, which was initiated over a year ago.

Similarly, a 13-km road from Athwatoo that connected remote Vewan village for the first time was blocked for traffic for several months now.

The locals said that soon after the slides, the PMGSY executed the project without any scientific or earth inspections at locations where it was most necessary.

The road witnessed massive slides and a large portion of it caved in after incessant rains earlier this year.

The villagers are apprehensive that their houses might cave in too.

“We have been clearing the slips from km 6, 7, and 8,” Chalkoo said. “On km 10, a huge rock came in the way, which we couldn’t remove with machine. Now we have sought permission from the district commissioner to blast it off. This has been blocking the road. The remaining stretch is through.”

District Development Council (DDC) Arin member Ghulam Mohuidin Rather said that PMGSY roads in the area were in a bad shape.

He said that apart from Vewan road, Chuntimullah-Kudhara road was also in a bad shape with landslides, boulders and potholes making it almost non-commutable.

“Almost all roads of PMGSY are in a bad shape,” Rather said.

However, Sirinder road is somewhat commutable although it too has developed potholes.

In Hajin constituency, the story is no different.

The 5-km each Aragam to Gujjarpati and Aragam Chapran roads are in a dilapidated condition.

“Last year Chapran road was macadamised but it washed off within two months,” a local said.

He said landslides are witnessed quite often as there are no protection walls and drainage in place.

Moreover, huge potholes have made the road almost inaccessible.

He said that Aaragam-Gujjarpati road also suffers the same fate.

“There are still cave-ins happening which at times destroy peoples orchards,” he said.

The locals also complained that Malangam-Turkpora road does not remain accessible most of the time due to frequent cave-ins and landslides.

However, officials said that the Malangam road was through but admitted that there were some new roads that had this persistent problem of slips or landslides due to heavy rain.

The locals and PRI members suggested better execution and planning while executing these projects.

They said that these roads were of no use in snow or bad weather conditions.

Chalkoo assured wherever there was a problem, the authorities would sort those out.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir