Digging up of roads in Shopian affects business

While the commuters and pedestrians face lot of inconvenience due to digging up of various roads in Shopian district, it is also taking a toll on local business.

Local residents say that over past one month a private telecom company has been cutting the metalled roads in and around town to lay an Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) which causes a whole host of problems to them.

“Due to the continuous digging, the streets are littered with muck and it has become  almost impossible  to walk on such streets comfortably,” said Javaid Ahmad, a local resident.

Ahmad said that the roads in the town were burrowed almost throughout the year to lay one or other utility line.

The Shopian-Ahrabal road where the digging is currently underway has been causing much trouble to the commuters and also prevents people from both within and outside Kashmir to visit the famed tourist spot via Shopian.

According to locals residents, a large portion of the narrow serpentine road lies under the soil and boulders, making it difficult for two vehicles to pass simultaneously which results in frequent traffic snarls.

“The road was already in a bad condition. The digging has made it even worse and more  prone to accidents let alone the pesky traffic jams,” said Bilal Ahmad, a cab driver.

 A local business man told Greater Kashmir that the business community always bore the brunt of such things.

He said that if the road was not repaired immediately, they were bound to suffer losses as a whole tourist season would go down the drain. Official sources told Greater Kashmir that any agency intending to dig a road for the purpose of laying a utility line–electricity, telephone, water– has to deposit the cost incurred on the subsequent repairment work with the concerned department before taking up the work. However, they said that there were no provisions to make up the loss that transporters or business community suffer due to the digging of roads.

“The big private enterprises are not even doing anything in such areas under the Corporate Social Responsibility,” they said.

 A senior official at R&B subdivision, Shopian said that the tender for the repairment of the road had already been issued.

“Once the telecom company completes its work, we will begin the repairment work,” he added.