Slow pace of road work irk Shopian villagers, orchardists

Delay in the construction work and slow pace of work since last year on a road in Imamshahib area of south Kashmir’s Shopian is troubling the residents of a string villages in the district.

Many residents told Greater Kashmir that at least an eight-kilometer stretch from Wazir Chek to Nagisharan connecting at least five villages is dotted with a plethora of potholes, causing tremendous inconvenience to pedestrians and commuters alike.

“It takes almost an hour to cover these few kilometers,” said Abdul Basit Malik, a resident.

He said that although the construction of the road was taken up under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) last year, the work had been going on at a snail’s pace.

“The work is going on in spurts. We don’t understand why the men working on the road sometimes vanish suddenly,” Basit added.

Another resident said that the area has turned prone to accidents owing to the dilapidated condition of the road.

“This is an apple-rich area. During the harvesting season fruit laden trucks often skid off the road, causing huge losses to the growers and truckers,” he said, declining to give his name.

Orchardists also complain that truckers often overcharge during the season because of bad condition of the road.

A band of young residents at Tulran village said that commercial transporters did not service the area.

“A few years back, they provided the service to the area but it was stopped barely a week later,” one of them said.

“Due to the bumpy road, their vehicles started suffering damages, that is why they stopped the service.”

Executive Engineer, Phradan Mantri Ghram Sadak Yojna Muzaffar Ahmad said that the work was stymied many times due to inclement weather conditions.

“Now as the weather has improved, we are trying to expedite the work,” Ahmad said.