Sonamarg, May 21: The road to the famous tourist destination Sonamarg in the Ganderbal district is in dilapidated condition with no proper attention being paid to repair and maintain it.
Thousands of people travel on this busy road which lies on the Srinagar-Leh highway while tourists also visit Sonamarg every day in large numbers during the summers.
Locals said that the road stretch of 15 kilometers mostly from Kulan village up to Sonamarg health resort is in shabby conditions and remains dotted with potholes causing inconvenience to commuters travelling on it.
The travel on this road has become arduous and cumbersome for passengers.
“Our vehicles suffer extensive damage due to the poor road condition and we have to send them for repairs quite often,” the drivers said, adding the concerned officials hadn’t done anything substantial despite repeated pleas.
The passengers have also complained of dust pollution on the highway saying it has also resulted in serious health complications among persons allergic to dust.
“The dust raised from these potholes has also become a pollution source causing further inconvenience to the travelers,” they said. The local people and drivers, whose vehicles are plying on the highway, have accused the Beacon authorities of turning a blind eye towards the dilapidated road condition.
“The Beacon has completely failed to maintain the highway making it not fit to be motorable,” the locals said.
They said that the heavy machinery used in the tunnel construction work which plies on the road has further deteriorated its condition.
The vehicle drivers carrying tourists to Sonamarg have also expressed disappointment over the road condition that leads to the tourist destination. The drivers said that Beacon authorities should pay attention to the road and start repair and maintenance work for the convenience of the travellers.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sonamarg Development Authority Ilyas Ahmed told Greater Kashmir that the road is maintained by Beacon while some portion has been handed over to NHIDCL for upgradation, adding that bad weather this month resulted in the delay of road upgradation and repairs.
The CEO said that Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal has already held a meeting in this regard and passed directions to fix a timeline for completing the road upgradation and other works.