MUZAFFARABAD: The residents of three union councils of Kotla Valley of Pattika tehsil have threatened to observe hunger strike till death if their un-carpeted road was not completed by the authorities concerned on priority basis.
They said the construction of 12 kilometer long uncarpeted (kacha) road was started in 1986 and completed in 1996. They said in 2004, gravel was laid over it. However carpeting of the road was still awaited.
They said over a decade had passed, however the road was still un-useable as it was uncarpeted and the gravel had scattered erupting digs and pit on the road. The residents of the area said that they had got approval of this road after a decade long struggle and huge hue and cry.
They said this was the sole road which was being used by the people of three union councils namely Sarli Sachha, Michhyara and ghhori having over 60, 000 population. However it was not completed yet and was still un-carpeted causing great hardships to the people of the area.
They said the kacha road was not carpeted despite the lapse of 15 years. They said the kacha road was badly uneven full of pits. They said only heavy jeeps could ply on this road and the fare of these jeeps was out of the reach of the poor people of the area.
A social worker of Konkan village of Sarli Sachha union council Mohammad Zulqarnain Sulehrai stated that dozens of ailing people of these union councils had died due to miserable condition of this road as they could not reached the hospitals well in time.
He said dozens of emergency patients like snake bite victims, accident, heart patients and pregnant mothers had to face death due to worst condition of this road. He said only heavy jeeps could run on this road, however a patient could not travel in these jeeps as the condition of the road was not useable and there was a bumpy drive of the jeeps.
A resident of union council ghhori Mufti Ibrar Hussain stated that despite making hundreds of written requests to the authorities concerned for last 14 years, no attention was paid to this road. He said dozens of people who were living in this area from their forefathers had left it as a protest, while several others were thinking to leave their native area due to this road.
When contacted Sardar Javed Ayub, Member Legislative Assembly of AJK, who is also the Minister for Forest AJK and belongs to the constituency LA-24 (Circle-1), where the road is situated, said that there were no funds available for this road, however efforts will be made in future. He said it was the job of the local government and the local government had no funds to carpet this road.
When asked that you were in the government for last four years, but no fund was allocated for this road despite huge hue and cry of the affected people, he said about Rs 180 million were required for carpeting of this road, however the government had not such an amount.
The residents have demanded the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister AJK, Chief Secretary AJK , Secretary Planning and Development and the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and other all concerned to take immediate notice of this road and issue order for its renovation and carpeting on emergency basis, otherwise they would have no potion but to observe hunger strike till death.