JAMMU, Jan 27: Agitated over the inordinate delay in construction of Udhampur–Chenani–Ramban stretch of National Highway (NH), the activists of National Panthers Party (NPP) led by Harshdev Singh JKNPP Chairman held a protest demonstration outside the Regional Office of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at Channi Himmat, here.
They were chanting slogans against the NHAI and Gammon India Construction Company besides other executing agencies and contractors to whom the work had been sublet and demanded immediate construction and completion of the said road.
Speaking to media persons, Harshdev lamented that the Udhampur–Chenani stretch of the road was in complete disarray resulting in huge inconvenience to the commuters travelling between Jammu and Srinagar. “Particularly affected were those who had to shuttle daily between Udhampur and Chenani due to dilapidated condition of road and lacklustre approach of the executing agencies,” said Singh.
The stretch from the Udhampur to Chenani in particular is in complete shambles with even the earlier two lane road having been badly damaged and rendered unfit for traffic. “There are huge traffic jams with vehicles remaining stranded for several hours each day on the same stretch due to dilapidated condition of the road,” he added.
Mr Singh alleged that the construction company has miserably failed to execute the work, whereas the NHAI is accountable to the public for having given undue concessions and leverage to the construction company without any justifiable reason. “However, the public of District Udhampur particularly has been repeatedly representing the NHAI to take remedial penal action against the said company but nobody seems bothered about it,” Singh informed, adding that similarly the work on Chenani–Sudh Mahadev road is also going on at snail’s pace besides the land owners from whom lands were acquired have not been suitably compensated.
Mr Singh called for immediate remedial action, otherwise the Panthers Party would be forced to gherao the concerned authorities besides approaching the Central Vigilance Organizations.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Partap Singh, Dhani Ram Attri, Vishab Dev Singh and many others.