Construction of Baltal-Amarnath road in full swing

Published at May 25, 2018 02:52 AM 0Comment(s)5811views

It’s not a road, it’s just a track: DC Ganderbal
SDM says he has no idea
Don’t report it: Contractor
NC MLA says he hasn’t visited area for a long time

Construction of Baltal-Amarnath road in full swing

Sameer Showkin Lone

Baltal (Sonamarg):

 The construction of a road from Baltal Base camp to Amarnath cave, that had earlier courted controversy, is now going on in full swing.
The officials of Forest Department justified the road construction saying it is not in cement or tarmac so it won’t be seen as a threat to eco-fragile zone.
At the Baltal Base Camp, the construction of the road that leads to Amarnath cave has been going on in full swing.
The proposed construction had earlier created controversy after separatist leaders had threatened of agitation if road construction was allowed. The then government had ruled out any such road construction to the cave or setting up of permanent facilities.
The officials of the Forest department confirmed to Rising Kashmir that the construction of road has been started by Amarnath Shrine Board.
They said the road construction is eco-friendly and won’t pose any threat to the eco-fragile environment in the area.
“The construction of the road is not in cement or tarmac. They are using sand and tiles,” Forest Range Officer Sind-Kangan Range, Muneer Ahmad told Rising Kashmir.
He said they had earlier stopped the construction. “We had stopped the construction last time. But the government policy was to resume the construction.”
“But I can assure it is not in cement, but only tiles, sand and dust,” Muneer said.
When contacted, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan said, “Come to my office. I don’t talk about such issues on phone”.
Contractor of the project constructing the road, Farooq Hafiz said, “It needs not to be reported. We have just constructed one kilometer of it. Afterwards it is again a narrow road. There is no purpose to report about it”.
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Kangan, Mehraj-ud-Din Shah told Rising Kashmir he has no idea about it.
“The executing agency must know about it. My office has no information,” he said.
Opposition National Conference leader and MLA Kangan, MianAltaf said he has not visited Baltal area since long.
“Honestly, I have no idea about it,” he said.
It was during Altaf’s tenure as minister that the issue had snowballed into a controversy.
Local PDP leader Bashir Ahmad Mir questioned construction of the road.
“How is it possible that the concerned MLA doesn’t know about it? This is all I have to say,” he said.
Mir was PDP’s candidate during 2014 elections and had lost to Altaf by a very close margin.
Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Dr PiyushSingla said it is not a road but just a track.
“It is a track constructed of tiles. The starting part is a proper metallic road…that is on G2 level. We have a metal-ling plan for it. I think the tenders have been floated by the concerned agencies. But afterwards it is a track. It is not a road, else it will give a different connotation,” Singla said.
Chief Executive Officer, ShriAmarnath Shrine Board, UmangNarula, said he has to check it.
“I am not sure about it,” he told Rising Kashmir.



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