Residents of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah protest against erratic roads

M Majid Malik

Irked over the attitude of the Border Roads Organisation and GREF authorities and to press their long pending demands, the villagers from Nalthi, Basti, Sartingal and adjoining areas of Bhaderwah sub district held protest demonstration against the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and administration over dilapidated condition of Bhaderwah-Bani-Basholi road.

Dozens of villagers gathered at Chamba Road Chowk, Hanuman Mandir Chowk and Nalthi market to protest against the 144 RCC of BRO.

While raising slogans against the BRO, elected representatives and civil administration, they blocked Bhaderwah-Bani-Basholi-Chamba road by burning tyres and erecting obstacles. “Instead of black topping the inhabited areas, 114 RCC started work from forest area resulting in chaos for poor villagers. Due to the worst condition of the road, we have been deliberately forced to live under inhuman condition as there are not only accidents but our agricultural and horticulture produce is also getting affected badly due to the thick layer of dust,” said a villager Sudesh Manhas, adding that they will continue and intensify the protest unless their demands are met.

Bhaderwah-Bani-Basholi road, which is under construction since past more than four decades and has been declared as alternate Highway, is considered the lifeline of Bhadarwah and people are waiting for it’s completion since years.

BRO was entrusted the task to upgrade this road about five years back after Union Government declared it as alternate highway to Kashmir. But in view of very slow pace of work and abandoning of work at several places, the condition of road has turned from bad to worse. Villagers sought immediate intervention of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti into the matter and demanded that road upgradation and blacktopping work be taken up on war footing and sufficient men and machinery be deployed on this important road.

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