The residents of Argi, Dalhori, Sagote and adjoining villages, falling under Rajouri tehsil, are irked over the dilapidated main road and expressed strong resentment against the government for "failing to repair the road".
Talking to Greater Kashmir, the locals said, "The main road lies dilapidated and as a result, we are facing immense hardships on a daily basis."
They claimed that the road was under the public works (roads and buildings) department, but was handed over to Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojna authorities in 2016. "Since the transfer, the road is being widened," they said.
Locals, including Kulbir Kumar, Sanjeet Kumar and Mohammad Shakir, among others said that the road widening work has been going on since the past three years at snail's pace. "The single-lane road was better than this double-lane nightmare. Ill-planned road cutting has created a mess. There are potholes and mud-patches everywhere," they said, adding that hundreds of vehicles ply on the road on a daily basis and everyone has to face immense hardships.
Driving on the road during rains has become one of the biggest challenges, they said.
"Time and again, we demanded expedition of road-widening project, but no one seems to be bothered. We even lodged a complaint in the grievance cell, but the situation continues to be worrisome," they said.
On being contacted by Greater Kashmir, PMGSY officers, on the condition of anonymity, said that the road from Argi to Dalhori was allotted to a contractor for up-gradation and the contractor also initiated the work.
The officers claimed that the earth cutting work, protection work and cross-drainage work has been completed. "Now, the work for preparation of road surface for laying the granular sub-base (GSB) has been started," they said.
They further said that road becomes slippery due to rains and the road-widening work is hampered due to the inclement weather. "As and when the weather improves, the preparations of sub-base shall be started immediately and the blacktopping of road surface shall be started in the month of April, 2019," they said.