Residents cry foul over dilapidated Doda-Bhaderwah highway

Residents and daily commuters, besides those associated with tourism industry are facing a tough time due to the dilapidated condition of 30 kms road stretch from Pul Doda to Bhaderwah on Bhaderwah-Pathankot National Highway.

Residents alleged that due to the pathetic attitude of BRO (114 RCC), which has been assigned the construction and maintenance of this road also, it has become extremely difficult to commute on this strategically important NH stretch. The road is not only full of potholes, but has also sunken at more than half a dozen places.

“We are unable to understand that despite being a strategically important highway which connects Jammu and Kashmir with Punjab via Basohli and Pathankot, why BRO is shying away from its responsibility vis-a-vis its basic maintenance. Numerous pot-holes and sunken portions thereby leave the commuters to face hardships and sometimes injuries,” said Yusaf Butt of Domail Bhaderwah.

The residents alleged, “Despite numerous representations to BRO authorities and district administration, the road has not been repaired for last 5 years. This is not only affecting the local commuters, but also the tourism industry. The tourists don’t like to revisit the valley because of the deplorable condition of the road.”

“I have visited several parts of the world but undoubtedly Bhaderwah is the most beautiful valley with mesmerizing landscape and numerous wonderful water bodies. But unfortunately the road is in shabby condition which makes one to rethink, whether to visit again or not,” Nachiket Guttikar, a documentary film maker from Pune, said.

“We have to face the ire of the visitors because of the road condition. But the authorities here especially BRO seem to be unmoved as they never pay heed to our problems and the losses, we have to incur because of the deplorable condition of Bhaderwah-Doda road,” said Tariq Chowdhary, president Tour and Travel Association Bhaderwah.

When contacted, ADC Bhaderwah Rakesh Kumar informed that he had taken up the matter with OC 114 RCC and he was assured that the macadamisation of Doda-Bhedarwah road would be started from March this year.