Dilapidated roads in the summer capital are taking a heavy toll on vehicular movement.
This week when Hyder Shah had to visit a Srinagar hospital from his Bijbehara home, he boarded a cab hopping it would drop him at Srinagar without any hindrance. As the cab reached PanthaChowk, the driver asked them to get down and refused to travel further citing the bad condition of roads.
"Cabs coming from Anantnag to LalChowk take Lasjan Road to enter the city as per new traffic plan. Such is the condition of Lasjan Road that the driver asked us to board a bus instead. This is now a routine that most drivers don't want to take their
vehicles on these dilapidated roads saying that they harm their vehicles," said Hyder.
The residents of Srinagar say that not just the link roads, the main roads of city center at LalChowk and Downtown are in a shambles. The roads full of potholes not only hinder the traffic movement but also pose threat of accidents, the commuters say, adding
that the roads had made the "face of Srinagar ugly".
Several traders' bodies have also appealed to the government to address the problem, but to no avail.
AijazShahdar, president Kashmir Traders' Alliance (KTA) said that last month they met Div Com Kashmir and picked up the issue of roads but so far nothing has been done. He said the issue is pertaining to whole valley and the condition of the roads in Srinagar is the worst.
"If you visit our area of Karan Nagar, the roads here are dotted with potholes. The roads in the city center including at LalChowk, Batamaloo, Sonwar, Bemina, Lasjan, Qamarwari are in bad shape. The roads have become reservoirs for rainwater which then seeps into our shops," Shahdar said.
The commuters say that the roads in downtown are not any different. The locals and business community members said that the dilapidated roads around important markets like Jamia Masjid had defaced the historic Downtown while hindering the traffic and pedestrian movement.
They said the water logging is rampant in the area and bad condition of roads hinders the traffic movement triggering traffic jams in already congested Downtown.
"Roads around SMHS hospital, Nawakadal, Maharjgunj, Nawabazar, Kanikadal and other old town areas are in a shambles," said AyazZehgeer, chief organizer, BeoparMandal, a downtown traders' body. The roads on Srinagar outskirts leading to famous Hazratbal shrine and Kashmir University are also in a shambles. The Hazratbal residents say that for years they are awaiting macadamization of roads. They said that the roads in Tailbal, Batapora, Habak, Zukura Crossing, Gasoo, Wanihama
and adjoining areas are in mess.
Apart from major roads of Srinagar, 364 city roads were transferred to Srinagar Municipal Corporation for maintenance and upkeep recently. While talking to Greater Kashmir, SMC Commissioner AtharAamir Khan said that the corporation has formulated an action plan for the roads under their jurisdiction.
"We are to maintain around 1400 km road length. We have finalized the action plan on the priority basis and sent it for funds. We are also going to make five model roads." Pertinent to mention, last week Srinagar district administration reviewed the plan of blacktopping of roads. The action plan for blacktopping of arterial roads was finalized. The officials in the district administration said that the plan for macadamization of 125 KMs roads in Srinagar has been finalized.