Anantnag: Fifteen years on, the authorities are yet to take up the widening of the 2-km left out stretch of the National Highway in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town leading to frequent traffic jams.
An official said that the work on Donipawa-Sherpora-Janglat Mandi stretch falling under Kishtwar-Sinthan-Kokernag-Anantnag Highway NH-244 (NH1B) road project has almost been shelved even as the preliminary Detailed Project Report (DPR) stands prepared.
“The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which was initially the executing agency for the project, had already notified the road and done its valuation in 2007. However, the highway authorities, which took over, did not carry forward the process,” he said.
The official said that since the government now went for a bypass along the banks of Aaripat, a Jhelum tributary, connecting it with Achajpora, the earlier proposal was dropped.
However, the locals said that it would not ease the problem of traffic congestion. “Most of the brick kilns and educational institutes fall on this stretch. So, it is hardly going to serve any purpose,” said Kausar Majid Dalal of Deva Colony, Janglat Mandi.
“Almost everyone here is completely in favour of the road widening but the authorities are not taking up the work on this stretch for reasons unknown,” said Rayees Ahmad Haqani, another resident.
He said that the narrow road stretch witnesses heavy traffic jams, causing immense hardships to the passengers while also making the movement of the pedestrians difficult.
“The road connects Kokernag and Shangus tehsils and several tourist spots like Achabal, Kokernag, Daksum, Sinthan Top, Chatapal to the Anantnag town. It also leads to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H), Anantnag as a result of which patients suffer,” said Khurshid Ahmad Wani.
He said that the government should immediately remove the bottlenecks and direct the concerned agency to take up the work immediately.
“The road widening will give a fillip to the trade in the area,” Wani said.
An official said that the R&B Department has to take a call on widening of the road stretch now.