Anantnag: In late 2017, Urban Environment Engineering Department (UEED) dug the roads and lanes in this south Kashmir town for construction of sewage treatment plant (STP). The sanitation project for the town was sanctioned by the Central Government under Atal mission for rejuvenation and urban transformation (AMRUT). The cost of the project was Rs 17 crore.
The executing agency, UEED, after seeking permission from the R and B department dug most of the main and internal roads and lanes to fix the sewage pipes underground. The compensation for the damage caused to the black topped roads due to digging was supposed to be paid by the executing agency while the tiled lanes and bylanes were to be repaired by the UEED itself. However, most internal roads and lanes await repair even four years after being dug.
Though the Road and Building Department after facing criticism by the local traders repaired and macadamized some main roads a few months back but most of the internal roads and lanes continue to be in shambles.
Even as UEED having paid more than Rs 2 crore to R&B for repair of the dug up roads, the latter is yet to do so.
Localities where the internal roads continue to be in mess include Kadipora, Sarnal, Bakhshiabad, Cheeni chowk, Reshi Bazar, Malaknag and Gulshanabad.
Official sources said that repairing the roads and lanes after digging was very much in the estimated project cost but neither R&B nor the executing agency has bothered to set them right.
Failure of the concerned agencies to set the roads and lanes right has left the local residents fuming.
“After being dug these roads and lanes have become hazard for the people both in dry and wet weather. During dry weather conditions heavy volumes of dust emanate from these roads and lanes while in case of rains they become too slippery to walk upon,” said a local resident from Kaddipora, Mubashir Ahmad.
Another resident, Junaid Ahmad from Mohalla Syed Sahab said that the lanes leading to their mohalla from main road have been in complete shambles for the last three years since it was dug for fixing sewage pipes.
“One wonders how come the authorities construct a sewage project at the cost of the black topped roads and tiled lanes. Only mindless can do it,” Ahmad said.
A resident from Malaknag Mohammad Iqbal said that after the tiles from the lane leading to their house were removed several years ago it has become very difficult for them to walk through the same. “According to our information project cost also included the repair of roads suffering damage during the execution of the sewage project. Now the project is also functional since last year but the dug up roads and lanes continue to await repair,” Iqbal said.
No top UEED official was available for comment , however, an engineer of the agency , Firdous Ahmad who supervised the project and is now posted at another place said that UEED has paid all the amount to R and B required for blacktopping of the main and internal roads damaged due to digging.
“Though i am no more there but what i know is that UEED has paid for the damage caused to the roads. It is now R&B which has to repair them. UEED’s job is over,” he said.
Executive Engineer R&B , Qazi Jasid, said that they have completed macadamization of a few kilometers of damaged roads in the town and have floated tenders for the remaining ones.
“After inviting tenders earlier we did not get any response. Now, the weather has improved. We are expecting response to our fresh tenders. Black topping of these roads will be done soon,” he said.