Srinagar, Sep 21: The villagers of Thakran, Udhampur, in Jammu district region have taken upon themselves the repair of 6 km damaged road stretch.
The villagers, as seen in a video circulated on the internet, have started a campaign ‘khade bharo andolan’ (repair the potholes campaign) for the task.
The villagers, as said in the video, were inspired to start the campaign after the authorities failed to address the issue.
The macadam from the road, the villagers say, has cleared off and there were only potholes, which as per them hampered movement.
After the schoolchildren of the village faced difficulties going to the school about eight kilometres away, they, as per a girl in the video, decided to help their parents in repairing the road stretch.
“Our parents went to the authorities asking for the repair, but they said that they have no funds. Then they asked us whether we would help them in repairing the road. We agreed,” says the girl.
“We will repair the road so that no accident takes place on it and we do not face any hardships.”
Alleging that the village had been suffering due to the damaged road for the last four years, a youth of the village in the video, says that no action was taken by the officials despite the villagers knocking their doors several times.
Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Public Works Department (PWD) Udhampur, Anil Gupta, said the road stretch was being repaired.
Claiming that work on the road stretch had been started “five days ago”, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Udhampur constituency, Pawan Kumar Gupta, told The Kashmir Monitor over phone that the video was being circulated by “mischievous elements”.
Gupta even claimed that the villagers in the video apparently shown repairing the road were actually the PWD labourers at work.
“The villagers cannot repair the road on their own. They can only indulge in some sort of symbolism. The roads in the whole area will be macadamized under the Central Road Fund (CRF) scheme for which Rs 32 crore have already been sanctioned,” Gupta said.
Asked why the road stretch could not be repaired earlier, Gupta said, “It is because of the rains. Had the contractor repaired it earlier, he would have to repair it again as the rains would have washed away the road”.