Developing Road Surfaces

Certain things need attention before blacktopping roads
Dilapidated road in Soura area
Dilapidated road in Soura areaMubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Each year government sets some targets for development activities. Among these, one of the routine activities is the laying of new roads, repairing damaged roads, and blacktopping road surface. This year also the government has expressed its intent of blacktopping a certain length of roads; and this is always required in J&K given the effect of weathering on our roads. For past some time we have seen that the work in this area of development went very slow. In the valley of Kashmir blacktopping of roads is a seasonal activity, so to say. I

t cannot be done in the winter months, which means almost half the year, if not more. So we are left with only some months to do it, and that means the pace of work should be doubled, at the least. For that to happen the simplest way is to work in multiple shifts. Besides the speed of work, there are other question marks in this areas of development. One, in the areas where water logging happens frequently why alternative surfaces material is not used. We have now the example of a road patch in Srinagar city itself that has been concretised.

Elsewhere also, in India and abroad, we have many places where roads are made of alternative materials, and that has been a successful experiment. Why can't this be the case in J&K. Two, why is it that every year we have to blacktop our roads. Is there something wrong with the quality of the material used for blacktopping.

If that is the case why aren't the people responsible for this being dealt with severely under law. Three, in the winter months snow clearance on roads is done with total disregard to road surface. Fourth, when blacktopping is done the already laid surface is not scratched. This makes the road level go up each year.

Consequently the residential areas suffer. Why can't the top layer be fist removed to maintain surface level of the area.

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