Most of the roads across Kashmir Valley are in a pitiable state, giving tough times to motorists and pedestrians alike. While some roads have been neglected for a long time, others were battered by the recent spells of snow and more so by the means employed by the administration like JCB etc to clear them.
Without any doubt, the severe winter conditions cause breaking up and shattering of the road surface due to seepage and frost action besides means for clearance. How well these roads can be protected from the weather vagaries is for the concerned department engineers and the government to work out. In the last several decades, no thought has apparently gone to address it and perhaps it needs a look into, particularly to find out if the problems lie beyond or including compaction, and surfacing etc. The top functionaries of R&B department have time and again said that there would be no compromise on the quality of work. The statement though assuring remain restricted to statements. All the concerned need to find out if insufficient or poor quality material is used in the construction. Not only the Macdamisation of road surface in terms of macadam thickness, its consistency, quality of tar and proper compaction with road rollers need to be seen, the metalling and allied basics needs proper monitoring for durable roads. Also, perhaps insufficient drainage allowing rainwater and snowmelt to seep into the road surface needs a look into and shall be addressed because it would solve two problems: one that the roads would be saved and second water logging during rains would be prevented. The novel coronavirus has caused considerable delay in mending the roads as it forced lockdown. However, the concerned departments need to step up the processes during the present unlock and utilize the current upcoming warmer weather to best advantage. The government needs to address allegations of delay in macdamisation and allied works due to the late release of funds. The concerned departments should be directed to release funds well in time for better road network which is important to buttress the economy as also prevent traffic jams. Few years ago J&K traffic police told J&K High Court that traffic jams were the outcome of the dilapidated road conditions as drivers are forced to go slow which invariably causes traffic to pile up and hence jams, sometimes gridlocks. Potholed roads not only reduce the life of automobile but also bring down its mileage, apart from damaging the vehicle alignment and suspension. Authorities need to address the issue on priority.