Ignored by Govt, villagers raise funds, construct 8 kms road

Three Sarpanchs inaugurating road constructed by villagers in Thannamandi area of Rajouri. —Excelsior/Gafoor Bhat
Three Sarpanchs inaugurating road constructed by villagers in Thannamandi area of Rajouri. —Excelsior/Gafoor Bhat

*No VIP invited for inauguration

Excelsior Correspondent

RAJOURI, July 7: Setting a unique example for others in the State and rejecting the VIP culture, the annoyed villagers from three Panchayats of Thannamandi Sub Division in district Rajouri have constructed over 8 kms road and opened for the normal traffic today.
Ignored by the respective Governments and respective public representatives in Rajouri constituency since long, the villagers from Nerojal, Saaj-A and Danna Panchayats raised funds to the tunes of over Rs 10 lakhs and constructed about 8.3 kms long kutcha road, linking Rajouri-Thannamandi road. They used three JCBs, many villagers themselves worked on the road for the weeks and some offered their lands for this much needed road link for the population of over 300 souls in district Rajouri. The students of the area and general public while shifting patients on-foot on cots for miles to hospital, were facing lot of hardships in the absence of road link.
Today amidst beating of drums and big fan fare, three Sarpanchs including Sarpanch Naseem Akhtar-Saaj, Sarpanch Zahoor Qureshi -Nerojal and prominent people of the area formally inaugurated the road in presence of large number of villagers, women and children and also distributed sweets. They rejected VIPs and went ahead with the inauguration themselves.
The work on this road had actually started about an year ago. A villager whose land was coming in the road alignment went to the court and got stay. The people of the area after series of meetings with concerned family slightly changed the alignment and then completed this cutting/ earth work on the road, mainly during last three weeks by using three JCBs.
There are three Govt Middle Schools and a High School in the area besides a Primary Health Centre. But there was no road connectivity for over 3000 people. They had requested the District Administration and concerned MLAs to get this road constricted under PMGSY many times but the issue remained un-address. Annoyed over the attitude of neglect on the part of Govt agencies and public representatives, they decided to take this matter in their hands by raising donations. Many people who were not well off and able to pay money, worked physically on the road as their contribution. These people have set a unique example for others.
Meanwhile, Sarpanch, Zahoor Qureshi has appealed to the State Governor, SP Malik to direct PMGSY Chief Engineer to undertake this road under PMGSY and make it concrete as the villagers do not have facilities for black -topping.