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Key road remains commuters' nightmare

There is no end to the woes of commuters who have to travel on the 16km Tikri-Katra road as the stretch is in a dilapidated condition.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2013 17:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

There is no end to the woes of commuters who have to travel on the 16km Tikri-Katra road as the stretch is in a dilapidated condition.

Incessant rain in the past has caused several potholes in the road and commuters face the risk due to landslides at several places. With a wide stretch submerged and several landslide-prone points on the road, commuters are left with no choice but to risk their lives while crossing this stretch every day.

The state government has apparently neglected one of the most important roads, which is used by crores of commuters every year. Talking to Hindustan Times, Jagdish Singh, a commuter on Udhampur-Katra road, said the condition of 16-km stretch connecting Katra town, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine with Kashmir, Udhampur, Patnitop and other parts of the state is so bad that it takes more than an hour to cover the stretch from Tikri to Katra. He added that there are several potholes measuring 5 feet in diameter and 1 foot in deep, which are like death traps on the entire stretch.

What is more astonishing is that the PWD records show that an expenditure of `10 crore has been done on this 16km stretch in the past nine years. Official records showsthat the work on the widening of road from Tikri to Katra was started by a PWD agency during 2004 and till date `10 crore has been spent in three phases.

Locals and NGOs have expressed concern over the dilapidated condition of the road and have demanded a probe into the delay in the completion of the project.

According to Parvesh Kumar, president an NGO, and Sarita Devi of Indian Democratic Human Rights Organisation, it is a matter of concern that even after 10 years, the work to widen 16km road has not been completed.

Citing that the company working on four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar highway has completed work on more than 20 km stretch in a year, they demanded early completion of the wok on the Titri-Katra road.

When contacted, the PWD XEN admitted that the third phase of the road project has been started four years back and it would be completed soon.

With regard to poor condition of the stretch from 1 to 5 km, the XEN said it could not be maintained due to lack of funds whereas from 10 to 16 km, nearly `20 lakh have been recently spent on the patch work and the road is in a good shape now.

First Published: Sep 15, 2013 17:45 IST