Exaggerated spending shown on paper but on ground what exists is not a road, it’s worse than even a track on which bullock carts used to move once in the past!
‘We have written volumes on the deplorable conditions of the roads in SubDivision Mendhar and this is one more in the series where PWD Sub Division Mendhar has done precisely nothing. If people are to be believed then there was no dearth of funds and the allegations are serious that money has been pocketed by the concerned engineers in the department who started laying this road. The story began to take shape 14 years ago and the present status can be seen from the picture attached with the story. Where did the money go is best known to the department officials, how much was used is in black and whites but was it really used is not known. This is another example of the dubious nexus prevailing between the contractors and the officials of PWD department where on the pretext of doing public works of roads and building money is gobbled up in stacks and stuffed into their bank or may be elsewhere. It is because of their designer corruption that a common man suffers in Mendhar. It has been a decade and a plus four years now since the people from Awan and Charoon are suffering and there is no hope in hell in sight!’
I probably did too much thinking in Mendhar. The reason was that I was simply mesmerized by the extravagant beauty of the landscape covered up with a green blanket and far on the horizons the magnificent Pir Panjal range rising like a phoenix from the ground. I wanted to go around the countryside and my friend was there to drive me. My first choice of a destination for him was that I wanted to see the countryside. He suddenly looked grim and politely ‘asked are you sure?’. My response was ‘where is the doubt’? After travelling for half an hour I realized as to why my friend had asked the question ‘are you sure?’. I had no option but to put the blame on the roads in Mendhar which are superbly ridiculous. My friend was seeing my discomfort because I had a definite sense of somehow being a passenger in my friend’s great SUV but on an evil road that was basically a slur on the paradise that Mendhar is’! The road was from Awan to Charoon and it was terrible. Sure enough I had a story in hand and this is what I scribbled on the screen of my laptop right from the site’! It was a big stretch and the vehicle could not have moved on it. Both my friend and I had no option but to walk for a distance to collect the facts as regards the road. I knew how I had to sum up the climax so I wrote it before I began the story and it was, ’it is better not to have a road than creating such a horrible marvel which is nothing but wastage of government money to be used for public works but instead siphoned into the bellies of the corrupt officials in PWD (R&B) department Sub Division Mendhar’.
Improved roads, after all, are one of the principal means by which a place is building a communications network that will in future propel the huge commercial and industrial expansion of the 21st century; I think that is what is the basic requirement for development in a place like Mendhar. This has been repeatedly being told by the Prime Minister of India. This is for changing the landscape of the country to produce the arterial interconnection of the modern place of a geography of more or less self-enclosed local communities; consolidating the administrative structures of the district . But this one is not the kind that suggests that because it is in a mangled state and it has been 14 years since it started, the enthusiasm amongst the people at that time was great but now it gives a distasteful look to the eyes and hence they are sulking and brooding. A kind of a road where you never think about where it is going and how it will be on the next curve. An absolute horror zone, do travel on it but at your own peril.
The people are disgusted, well that would be an understatement because they expect nothing from the department that believes in substandard work. So far it has been the same story over the years. No one comes to serve in PWD (R&B) to work sincerely since the precedent is old and traditions of working are written in manuals. Make the max in whatever way you can and move out on posting to another place to start all over again! That is what has ruined everything at the expense of the masses. Here is what the people have to say about this road in the still photograph with the story:
This road Awan to Charoon was started 14 years ago and was thrown open for traffic. Time and again I have mentioned the fact everything starts with gusto and robustness in district Poonch but subsequently the steam fizzles out. This is one more example of that.
This road has been lying defunct and dysfunctional from last one year and none has bothered to check the same out. By the look of things no one will ever do the same.
At present even the strong and sturdy tractor trolley’s cannot move on this road. An accident on a bump can result in the overturning of the tractor and its tagged load carrier.
As per the locals the same has happened due to consistent negligence of PWD Engineer’s of Sub Division Mendhar and they are the ones who are responsible for this predicament of the people.
Another allegation of the people is that a huge amount has been spent as the officials say but it’s only on papers, on ground it does not look as if that amount was really spent. This indicates corruption which flows in gushes in Sub-Division Mendhar.
There are three culverts on the road and have been in a seriously damaged condition since one year but the same have not been repaired. Will they ever be? The people are doubtful since the response of the PWD officials shows all possible signs of negativity.
So this was what the condition of the road is. If it has been laid by the department then they have to repair it too because nothing lasts forever. The department hierarchy in district Poonch has to realize and instruct the officials to get going! At the moment the latter are just sticking to their chairs and not willing to move out. A perfect scenario for interpreting money makes the mare go fable!
The unclouded sky, the flower mottled hills, wonderful people, innocence sparkling and lavish scenic beauty is all there but this horrifying road spoils the show. Because the drive on it is simply not possible though it can be made smooth by the PWD (R&B) department if they take the requisite action sincerely which at the moment, sorry to say they are not taking and thus the people continue to remain on the edge!