Anantnag: In the year 2018, the Urban Engineering and Environment Department (UEED) started work on a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) project in Anantnag. The department dug up the roads and streets in Anantnag town to fix the sewage pipes.
The main roads were macadamised following public outcry. However, the majority of the interior lanes and by-lanes of the town have been left unattended.
These include those of Sarnal, Kadipora, Cheeni Chowk, Malakhnag, Janglatmandi, Sherpora, Achajipora, and Laizbal.
The streets are full of potholes, and in winters and rainy days, the pedestrians find it difficult to walk through.
“We were told that once the pipes are fixed, the lanes and by-lanes will be repaired immediately. It has been four years now, but we are still waiting,” said Shabir Ahmad Mir of Kadipora locality.
He said that their repeated pleas to the officials have got unheard. The government in 2019 abolished the Engineering wing of the urban local bodies (town drainage) and subsequently the R&B was designated as the executing agency for the projects.
The move has led to confusion and is becoming a major impediment in the development works in the towns.
An official said that the Roads and Building (R&B) department had prepared the estimate of damaged roads to the tune of Rs 3 crore.
“A major portion of this was utilised in black-topping of main roads but the tile work of by-lanes is still pending,” he said. The Superintendent of Engineering, UEED, Abdul Majed Raina said they had already released Rs 2.30 crore to the R&B department.
“We have also released Rs 5 lakh to the SICOP,” he said.
He said that the amount was meant for black-topping not for repairing streets.
However, Executive Engineer, R&B, Javed Qazi maintained that for the damaged streets to be repaired they needed the approval of the Municipal Council Anantnag.
“When these interior lanes were dug up, these were entirely under MCA. Now R&B is the executing agency. So, we are waiting for the proposal from the municipal authorities before taking up the work,” he said.
President Municipal Council Anantnag, Hilal Ahmad Shah said that the work on the damaged streets would be taken up soon.
“We will be getting Rs 70 lakh from UEED. Further, we will manage Rs 4 lakh from the council itself,” Shah said.
He said that they had identified 24 damaged by-lanes of the town, the work on which would be tendered within a few days.
However, the SE UEED, Raina said that they could only release the funds to the R&B, not to the urban local bodies.