|‘Not rain and snow, blame corruption for ditches and potholes of roads’|
Obviously, the government is once again the butt of ridicule with people squarely blaming the corruption in various agencies for the miserable condition of roads.
And if the huge ditches and potholes in the roads and streets across the Valley are taken as a pointer, people’s allegations are not unfounded!
“Since the road construction is done with substandard material in connivance with and with active support and patronage of corrupt engineers, there is no wonder that these roads do not stand even minor weather vagaries,” says Altaf Ahmed, a civil engineer.
“Just give me the name of a single road or street in Srinagar which has withstood the recent rains and snow,” asked Altaf, adding “and it should not be difficult to understand what will be condition of roads elsewhere in the Valley, particularly in the countryside if the condition of the roads in capital city is so pathetically miserable.”
“It is difficult to walk on the roads here and one can only imagine how difficult it is to drive when there are ditches and potholes everywhere,” says Ajaz Ahmed, who works as a draftsman with one of the engineering wings of the government.
“Let me confess that in Kashmir there is no concept of road construction,” adds Ajaz, and “of course the rampant corruption in various engineering wings here only adds to the misery as the concerned agencies never bother to look what kind of material is being used in laying roads, nor do they ensure that the contractors adhere to the prescribed specifications.”
“It’s true, because you have to understand that Kashmir is not the only place where it snows, in fact in Europe and US or Canada the snowfall as well as cold season is much more severe, but you will never see the roads and streets getting damaged there,” says a retired civil engineer, who didn’t want to be named for obvious reasons.
“…and once you compare the situation here with that elsewhere in the developed world, of course you will see that it is the rampant corruption and not rain or snow that is the culprit.”