Historic Awanta Bhawan faces 'official apathy'

Faulty drainage system at Doctors’ Lane in the historic Awanta Bhawan area of Soura has caused immense problems for the residents, the locals said.

The deep drain, according to the residents, was commissioned two decades ago to National Building Construction Corporation India Ltd but it lasted few months. “We have approached Raj Bhawan several times. The Governor’s office took up the matter with SMC but the SMC authorities passed the buck to R&B. Then we traced NBCC officials who admitted the fault and promised action, ” said Abdul Qayoom Shah, a resident of Doctors’ Lane.

More than 50 households inhabit the Doctors’ Lane, which came up in 1990s. “All of us suffer but women and children suffer more. Often the kids trip in the lane, which looks like a stream even in hot summer,” said Fayaz Ahmad , another resident.

Awanta Bhawan is a historic town that was built by Rani Amrita Prabha, Queen of King Meghwahan. The main road of Awanta Bhawan leads to Vichar Nag , where two Shiva Temples and two holy springs have attracted devotees for long. “But for the lack of approaches from Awanta Bhawan, the temples wear deserted look. We used to go to the springs in during our childhood but now the roads around the temple site are in a shambles. Even the main road of Awanta Bhawan that leads to Doctors’ Lane and many other colonies is in a shambles,” rues Abdul Qayoom Shah. He said the matter has already been taken up with the NBCC Ltd but the officials are yet to wake up to a mistake committed twenty years ago.

The locals said if developed fully, the Awanta Bhawan road could serve as an alternative route to Sonmarg and the traffic jams during Amarnath Yatra could be avoided.