Banihal, Oct 7: Within a month of spending Rs 13 lakh on repairing the Kanga-Gandhari link road connecting thousands of people with the tehsil and district headquarters Ramban, the road sank again.
The Gandhri link road sank and closed again on September 18 within a month of its restoration and remains closed to date.
The 22-km Kanga-Gandhri-Bathni link road remained closed for around two months after 200 meters of the road was washed away during heavy rains on June 21.
The damaged link road was tendered by the Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings) Ramban for temporary restoration.
The road was finally restored on August 17 after spending around Rs 13 lakh on it.
The locals of Ghandri said that the link road at the affected place, a few kilometres ahead of Gandhri block headquarters, was slide prone.
They demanded an alternative road to bypass the slide-prone portion.
Locals said that in absence of a passageway, people had to travel 10 to 15 km daily on foot to reach Ramban.
They said that the Kanga-Gandhri-Bathni link road needs a permanent solution at the slide-prone area instead of spending lakhs of rupees several times for temporary restoration.
Locals said that the road had turned to be a “gold mine” for the PWD employees and contractors.
They said that the PWD (R&B) Ramban had invited tenders of Rs 29 lakh for road restoration but the contractor, the husband of the DDC Councilor of Gandhri block got the contract against the lowest rates of about Rs 12.5 lakh.
Locals said that the low cost of restoration work also affected the work done by the contractor.
They said that locals were now constructing a footpath on their own so that people could at least walk smoothly.
The road was closed due to incessant rains followed by landslides on June 21.
After the tendering process, the temporary restoration work was started on July 26.
The road was restored on August 17, 2022.
The Kanga-Gandhri link road closed again on September 18.
Since then the road has been closed and no restoration work has been carried out.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ramban Massarat-ul-Islam told Greater Kashmir that the PMGSY took up the road for upgradation.
He said that the tendering process had been started by PMGSY with a permanent solution at landslides and skinning-prone areas.
The DC Ramban said consultations with the PWD were going on for an alternate link road via the Tangar area.
He said that there were few chances of its stabilisation and temporary restoration as the entire stretch was sinking. The DC said that after completing the tendering process by PMGSY, permanent restoration of the Kanga-Gandhri link road would be done on a priority basis.