Srinagar, Apr 30: With authorities having imposed strict restrictions to prevent spread of deadly coronavirus, interestingly the Roads and Buildings Department (R&B) has taken up repair works for roads ‘leading to the civil secretariat here in Srinagar city’.
On Thursday the labourers were seen painting roads and repairing the potholes without caring for social distancing and other precautionary measures.
Eye-witnesses told news agency KINS that scores of workers have been hired by the Roads and Buildings department for painting roads with multi-colours as part of the age-old makeover practice of the all J&K governments ahead of the official opening of Darbar Move offices in Srinagar.
This year, in the wake of Pandemic Covid-19 that has already claimed eight lives and affected almost 600 people in J&K with over 500 alone in Kashmir, the Civil Secretariat will be opening partially on May 4 in Srinagar where employees from Kashmir only, will work.
In Jammu, civil secretariat will function normally with employees from Jammu remaining stationed there only. This was decided by the J&K UT government in the wake of pandemic Covid-19.
A look at Budhshah Bridge depicts a sad picture as labourers of R&B department were seen in a huddle preparing macadam to fill the potholes and damaged patches of the road stretch leading to the Civil Secretariat. “There were at least 6 to 7 workers near Budshah Bridge and none of them was following the social distancing.” an eye-witness told KINS.
He said that many others could be seen decorating the footpaths with multi-colour paints. “The footpaths are being decorated fright from Zero bridge to Clock tower (Ghanta Ghar) on one side and from Dalgate to Civil Secretariat on the other side. “Every lakhs of rupees are spent on this exercise by the R&B.
But unfortunately, this time when lockdown is in place, dozens of labouers are working together, close to each other while filling the damaged patches of the road stretch leading the highest seat of governance,” said Rameez Ahmed, a local resident of Lalchock.
He said one wonders whether lockdown is for local people only. “Isn’t R&B department repairing roads in a brazen violation of lockdown guidelines just to appease?”
Sources said that R&B has set May 3 as the deadline for repairing the road stretch from Dalgate to Civil Secretariat and also from Rajbhawan to Sonwar, the route to be taken by the Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu for travelling to and fro from Civil Secretariat after May 4.
When KINS contacted chief engineer R&B he said that all precautionary measures like providing masks and gloves for workers engaged in the work were in place and it is ensured that proper social distancing is maintained.
He said that repair works of all roads in Srinagar will be done in the coming days. “It is not that we are repairing the roads leading only to civil secretariat. We have floated tenders for all the roads in Srinagar,” he maintained.
He added that a majority of the works are being done by machines with minimum number of workers. (KINS)