STATE TIMES NEWS BHADARWAH: To express their resentment over the attitude of authorities and to press their long pending demands, the villagers from Nalthi, Basti, Sartingal and adjoining areas of Tehsil Bhadarwah held a protest against the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and administration on Friday for the worst condition of Bhadarwah-Bani-Basoli Road which is passing through their area. According to reports, dozens of villagers gathered at Chamba Road Chowk, Hanuman Mandir Chowk and Nalthi Market to protest against the 144 RCC of Border Road Organisation. While raising slogans against the BRO, elected representatives and civil administration, they blocked Bhadarwah-Bani-Basoli and Chamba Road by burning tyres and erecting obstacles. The protestors alleged that due to the callous and inhuman attitude of the BRO/GREF authorities, villagers have been exposed to several hardships and for the last seven years, the villagers residing along Bhadarwah-Basoli Road are literally living under dust as despite several representations, 114 RCC instead of blacktoping residential areas had been laying bitumen in the forest and far off areas. Villagers alleged that beside incurring huge losses in agriculture and horticulture due to thick layer of dust on their produce, dozens of Villagers, especially children have fallen sick and have been diagnosed with dust pneumonia. When contacted, 2 iC 114 RCC, Amit Yadav said “I have sought five days time from the protestors, meanwhile, I will take up the issue with higher authorities to settle the dispute with contractor assigned to lay the bitumen in Nalthi stretch. As far as the issue of dust is concerned, we are going to deploy a water tanker from tomorrow itself to settle the dust”. Protesters alleged that there was no monitoring on the progress of work by the Chief Engineer Sampark or other officers. There seems to be no accountability of the BRO or the State administration and the public has been left to suffer. Even the district administration has no liaison with the central agency on the progress of the work. They warned the Chief Engineer Sampark his `Gherao’ and massive protest, if the BRO failed to take cognisance of the matter. Villagers sought immediate intervention of DC Doda and the Divisional Commissioner Jammu into the matter and demanded that road upgradation work be taken up at war footing and sufficient men and machinery be deployed on this important road.
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