Take steps to stop mishaps on Baba Reshi-Baramulla road: Residents to govt

Tangmarg, Aug 29: The inhabitants of Tangmarg have urged the State Government to take immediate measures to tackle the increasing number of accidents on Baba Reshi-Baramulla road stretch.
 “The number of accidents occurring on the road has increased manifold and many people have lost their lives in these mishaps,” the locals told Greater Kashmir.
 They said that three persons including a student were killed when a school picnic bus, they were travelling in, met with an accident on the road on July 11, 2012, adding the road stretch has become accident prone. The spot where the mishap occurred is locally called as “Tile Kaen” and is near Alpathri in Namblinaar Village. “This is basically a short cut road that connects Baramulla with Baba Reshi and people coming from Uri, Baramulla, Sopore and Kupwara and Bandipora usually travel on this stretch. Till few years back, it was not an established road, but now it has become a vital link road for the people who live in different villages on this road viz (BabaReshi, Chuntipathri, Alpathri, Nambalinaar, Kalantara, Muqaam, Chandoosa, Gohun, Charredaji and Baramulla and via Potkha with more areas including Munegam, Wagoora, Shrakevora, Novpora and Potkha,”  the locals added.
 According to the locals, the road needs immediate repairs and subsequent macadamization. “The road has eroded at various places,” the locals said, adding the stretch is dotted with potholes. They said that the authorities should also erect sign boards asking the drivers to drive slowly and cautiously on the stretch. 
 The locals revealed that the first ten kilometers of the road from BabaReshi to Kalantara Payeen are maintained by Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) while as the rest of the stretch is looked after by Roads and Buildings Department.

 This 32 kilometer long road stretch is too narrow at various places to accommodate two vehicles coming in opposite direction. “We have seen many officials surveying this road for widening, but till now nothing substantial has been done so for,” a resident of Alpathri told Greater Kashmir.

 The road stretch is surrounded by agriculture fields, which most of the times, remain filled with water. “This water overflows and damages the road, causing erosion at various places,” the locals said adding that the government should construct a proper drainage system to check the overflow of the water.

 The road is devoid of parapets which are essential as they prevent the vehicles from hurtling down the slopes, in case the driver fails to negotiate the curve or vehicle skids off the road. “Time and again, we urged the senior functionaries in the district administration to construct the parapets, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” the locals said.
 The authorities have also failed to fulfill our persistent demand regarding upgradation of the road.
 When contacted, Gulmarg Development Authority Executive Engineer, Rafiq Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that the road would be upgraded very soon. “The accidents and loss of life is unfortunate. However, there could be many reasons behind the accidents. We have already done the survey for the upgradation of the road. But due to financial constraints we could not undertake the works,” Rafiq told Greater Kashmir. The parapets, he said would be constructed after the completion of the basement bund.
Reports compiled by Ahmad Kashmiri