In Rakhpora, Jammu and Kashmir, an important road lies in a very bad and unsafe condition.
The main road of Rakhpora village was built six years ago. In a matter of six months, though, the road was filled with large potholes and ditches. Today, it remains in the same state.
India has a road network of more than 3 million kilometres, only second to that of America’s. Official estimates suggest that the upkeep and maintenance of this network costs around 300 billion rupees a year. This exorbitant amount is mainly because initial construction of roads is poorly done, and thus they are in need of regular fixing.
In today’s video, our Community Correspondent Nadeem Andrabi shows us how terrible the state of an important road in his vicinity. Ever since its construction six years ago, the government has not once been back to check on the upkeep of the road. Despite official pleas and complaints, the situation remains the same. This is a serious problem for the residents of the villagers and outsiders too. It is the only road that connects Rakhpora village to others, and thus, people cannot travel back and forth with ease. There is one other way to reach Rakhpora, but it is a seven kilometre detour; far too long for someone in an emergency.
The government claims to be improving and extending road networks all over the country. However, their focus has primarily been on urban transport networks, and rural areas are left neglected.
Nadeem tells Video Volunteers that the bad state of this road affects the economy of Rakhpora village significantly. Most of the people here own apple orchards, and they find it very difficult to transport apples and other material across the district. Many a times, their apples get damaged if they attempt using this road. Although there haven’t been any accidents on this road, vehicles often break down when drivers try to drive across the potholes. Nadeem’s own bike once broke down here as well.
“Both rural and urban areas of Jammu and Kashmir are fast developing,” says Nadeem, “ and things like bad roads are major hurdles to our community’s progress. We don’t have any alternative for this road, which is why it is really important to get it fixed as soon as possible.”