Kupwara road blocked in winter yet to be cleared

Rajwar residents demand clearance of landslide at Khikshi
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Representational Image File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Kupwara: The residents of Upper Rajwara in Zachaldara tehsil of Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Wednesday expressed resentment against the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna scheme for failing to clear the landslide at Khikshi area, resulting in severe hardships to the residents of several villages.

According to residents, the landslide hit the road during winters and after the passage of over six months, the concerned department was doing nothing to clear the road.

They said that only half of the road was cleared which gives a tough time to the commuters.

The transporters of the area said that they were the worst sufferers due to the un-cleared road.

They said that the chances of collision between the vehicles had increased manifold yet the authorities are unmoved.

“Due to the very narrow space at the slide-hit area, only a single vehicle passes at a time. The drivers coming from Satkoji and other villages have to wait till the vehicles coming from the opposite direction pass,” a local said. “Since the area happens to be slide prone, we had requested the authorities to construct a retaining wall here to thwart any human loss but nothing has been done in this regard so far.”

Executive Engineer PMGSY Handwara Division, Muhammad Ramzan Dar said that the department had pressed in men and machinery to clear the road but the forest officials did not allow clearing of the landslide saying that the land belonged to the Forest Department.

Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner Handwara, Nazir Ahmad Mir has called a meeting on September 24 to resolve the issue.

Divisional Forest Officer Langate, Executive Engineer PMGSY Handwara Division, Tehsildar Zachaldara, and officials of the Geology and Mining Department have been asked to attend the meeting.

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