Road to famous shrine, tourist destination in Bandipora in a shambles

The road leading to the famous shrine located at Ahamsharief village and tourist destination at Athwatoo village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district is in a dilapidated condition, residents complained.

The road has not been repaired since last more than five years, they say.

“The condition of the road is getting worse by the day. It has developed huge potholes and it has become very difficult for us to commute on the road between Bandipora and Athwatoo village,” said Ghulam Rasool Khan, a resident of Ahamsharief.

“The condition of the road is worse near Ayathmulla, Check Reshipora and Ahamsharief itself.”

The road leads to a famous shrine of Hazrat Sultan-ul-Arifeen, Sheikh Hamzah Makhdoom Sahib (RA), located at Ahamsharief village.

“The road which leads to Ziyarat Sharief right from Bandipora is in a complete shambles and gives tough time to commuters. The shrine is thronged by hundreds of devotees on various occasions like Shab-i-Qadr. Hundreds of people on every Friday also visit the shrine,” a resident said.

The residents say they have raised the issue of repairing the road with authorities many times but nothing has happened so far.

They appealed the Deputy Commissioner Bandipora to at least get some patchwork done on the road before Shab-i-Qadr so that devotees expected to visit the shrine don’t have to face much inconvenience.

Ahead of Ahamsharief shrine, the road leads to the famous tourist spot of Athwatoo in which is thronged by many during summers and has attracted a substantial number of tourists for about a decade now.

Athwatoo is located on the foothills of Harmukh Mountains, surrounded by serene and thick forests besides crystalline water gushing down the slopes.

However, according to locals, the road leading the tourist destination is in complete shambles due to the official negligence.

Commuters say the road is in bad condition particularly near Bilal Colony, Panar and Upper Panar as the road has huge cracks and potholes.  

Assistant Executive Engineer R&B Division Bandipora, Javid Iqbal said that the Ahamsharief-Athwatoo road has been approved under CRF as ring road last year at a cost of around Rs 8 crores.

“We have started repair works on other side of the ring road near Tanghat and within days repair work would be started from Ahamsharief side as well. The road has been approved as ring road from Bandipora to Athwatoo on one side and from Athwatoo to Bonakoot on the other,” Iqbal said.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza said that keeping in view the importance of Ahamsharief Shrine he had already asked the concerned department to start work from this side as well.

“The work on the road was going on from Tanghat side but I have directed the concerned department to started work from Ahamsharief-Athwatoo side as well, keeping in view the importance of the road,” Mirza said.