The villagers and panchayati raj representatives here have threatened to launch a movement against the government, pressing them to speed up the work on 80 km Theog-Kotkhai-Hatkoti road, which has been under work for nearly seven years now.
The work is being done by a private firm C&C, but at a snail pace. In November 2013, the contract for up gradation of the road was allotted to the Delhi based company in two packages-Theog to Kharapathar (48 km stretch) at a cost of `179 crore and Kharapathar to Rohru (32 km stretch) at `142 crore. They were given a deadline of two and half years.
However, the local civil federation has claimed that in the past one year, only 4% work had been done.
Giving a mass call, Jai Bharat Grameen Vikas Samiti Ghunsa of Jubbal area on Sunday said delay in the widening work was not only hampering commuting, but was also affecting life of the people in the surrounding areas.
Samiti president Vir Prakash Baltoo said in last seven years the accidents on this road had increased. "Bad condition of the road has forced the transporters to increase the freight, which has in turn affected the apple economy," he said, while addressing mediaperson here.
However, the government has been claiming that the freight was being charged as per the notification, but the ground reality was otherwise, he added. He said the Samiti would mobilise people of the area and a meeting would be organised on November 9 at Hatkoti, where the future strategy would be drawn. "This is a non-political effort and people from all walks of life from upper Shimla areas are requested to assist in launching stir against the government," Baltoo said.
He added that there had been successive governments of both, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ruling Congress party, but the condition of the road remained bad. "It is time for the people of area, who have been suffering due to the bad road condition, to stand up and force the government to initiate a firm step," Baltoo said, adding that otherwise the apple economy would have to face the consequences.
Earlier, the panchayati raj women representatives had given a 20-day ultimatum to the government on the same issue. Representatives from panchayat to zila parishad level have threatened of a 'chakka jam', if the government failed to imitate steps to improve the road condition.