Kashmir Indepth

Govt risks visitors, ignores dev of Tangmarg-Gulmarg road, ‘work on potholes to start soon’, Say officials

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar April 10 (KINS): While Jammu and Kashmir Government claims that development of tourism sector is its priority, the main road leading to world famous ski resort, Gulmarg, sans parapets, making it vulnerable to fatal accidents.
The development of a 13-km long hilly road stretch from Tangmarg to Gulmarg has been ignored by successive governments, locals said.
They said lack of parapets along the road, which is used by thousands of tourists, have taken a huge toll on life as many vehicles skid off the road and fall into the deep gorges over the years.
The road from Tangmarg has developed huge potholes and creating inconveniences to commuters. “On one side the government says they want to promote tourism and on the other side, the road has developed huge potholes and creating inconveniences to visitors,” Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Tangmarg told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
During the winter months, the road stretch from Tangmarg-Gulmarg-Babarishi becomes slippery due to frost.
“Despite the Gulmarg road being prone to road accidents, the Government has failed to construct a wall or fencing alongside the road. These parameters could reduce the road accidents in case the driver loses control of his vehicle,” said a driver, Mushtaq Ahmad.
Locals say the road has become an accident prone because it was devoid of protection on its boundary that could prevent vehicles from falling into the gorge.
“We have urged the authorities repeatedly to construct the parapets on the road, but to no avail. Scores of accidents take place every year on this road but the Government takes no measures on its own except issuing advisories during the winter months,” said Aijaz Ahmad of Tangmarg.
Director Tourism and DC Baramulla could not be contacted for the comments. However one of the officials in the administration said that they are aware about the condition of the road and that the work will start soon to repair them. (KINS)

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