Potholes greet visitors at ‘gateway to Kangra’ : The Tribune India

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Potholes greet visitors at ‘gateway to Kangra’

In absence of NHAI supervision, road safety norms thrown to the wind

Potholes greet visitors at ‘gateway to Kangra’

The potholed stretch at Kandwal near the toll tax barrier in Nurpur. Tribune photo



Rajiv Mahajan

Nurpur, April 21

Deep potholes on the Pathankot-Mandi National Highway 154 at Kandwal in Nurpur, known as ‘the gateway to Kangra valley’, have become a source of trouble for tourists visiting the state and commuters using the highway in private and public vehicles.

The smallest of rain showers fill these potholes with sludge and filthy water, adding to the woes of the commuters.

As the tourist season is on, this bumpy and potholed stretch welcomes tourists entering the state for destinations in Chamba, Kangra and Kullu districts, thanks to the apathy of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) authorities.

The NHAI is working on the Pathankot-Mandi highway-widening project through IRB, a private road construction company. This firm has sublet the construction of the first phase of the project from Kandwal to Bherkhud (package-one) to a local road construction company. It is the responsibility of the road-widening construction company to repair and maintain the highway stretch. However, in the absence of any supervision by the NHAI on the ongoing construction work of the highway, all road safety norms have been thrown to the wind.

The 30-feet stretch near the toll tax barrier at Kandwal, a few yards away from the Kandwal police chowki, has developed about a dozen deep potholes. Four-wheeler drivers have been greatly inconvenienced by this. For two-wheeler riders, commuting on this road is nothing short of a nightmare, especially at night.

The deep potholes at Kandwal have virtually turned into black spots. The NHAI authorities have failed to maintain the damaged road stretches, despite the stretch having seen a number of fatal road accidents during the last one month. Kandwal gram panchayat pradhan Narinder Kumar said neither the local administration nor the NHAI authorities paid any heed to these black spots, which were deepening and widening by the day.

Rakesh Bharti, Apan, Rajesh, Raju and Raj Kumar Gupta, traders from Jassur town who used to commute daily from Pathankot to run their business at Jassur and nearby areas, said the road construction company should undertake regular repairs of the road put in use for road traffic between Kandwal to Jassur, so that commuters and tourists don’t have to travel through potholed and unsafe roads. Road safety has become a big challenge while travelling on the 12-km stretch between Kandwal to Jassur, they lament.

Nurpur SDM Gursimer Singh said he had directed the road construction company to repair this damaged and potholed stretch of the road.

Work sublet to local firm

  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is working on the Pathankot-Mandi highway-widening project through IRB, a private road construction company
  • The company, however, has sublet the construction of the first phase of the project from Kandwal to Bherkhud (package-one) to a local road construction company
  • It is the responsibility of the road-widening construction company to repair and maintain the highway stretch. However, in the absence of any supervision by the NHAI on the ongoing construction work of the highway, no attention is being paid to road safety norms
  • The 30-feet stretch near the toll tax barrier at Kandwal, a few yards from the Kandwal police chowki, has developed about a dozen deep potholes
  • Four-wheeler drivers have been greatly inconvenienced by this. For two-wheeler riders, commuting on this road is nothing short of a nightmare, especially during the night

#Kangra #Mandi #Nurpur #Pathankot


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