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Weekly Pullouts » Himachal Tribune

Posted at: Oct 6, 2018, 12:30 AM; last updated: Oct 6, 2018, 12:30 AM (IST)

Dagshai roads in disrepair, face officials’ complacency

Vital road from Dosarka caved in during rains

Ambika Sharma

Roads leading to the quaint cantonment town of Dagshai, developed in 1847 during the British Raj, present a picture of neglect and apathy because timely repair of these roads and their maintenance is not carried out. The roads are also used by the Army authorities and their heavy vehicles on a daily basis.

Though the  town is connected by two roads from the National Highway-22, but the hardship of the residents has increased since one road from Dosarka, where some excavation work was underway to four-lane the highway, caved in during the rains. Though the authorities had repaired this road a few months ago, but the rains played a spoilsport and the road has become inaccessible to the residents.

People have to take a detour of several kilometers through Kumarhatti to go to Kasauli and Dharampur and cab drivers have doubled the fare from Dharampur. What is indeed worrisome for the residents is the fact that the condition of the Kumarhatti-Cherring Cross Road is pitiable because huge potholes, extending to several feet, were visible on its surface. The authorities have failed to repair the road for decades now and it has started sinking at several places where cracks had made driving risky, especially in the dark.

“Two wheeler riders can’t risk riding on this road and the situation is especially worrisome when two vehicles coming from the opposite directions have to cross each other. The vehicle moving along the side of the valley faces the risk of overturning, given the gaping crevices, which are visible all over the road surface,” points out Rajkumar, a daily commuter.

A resident, Anand Sethi, while ruing the “appalling state of affairs” said these roads had failed to get due attention and even the roadside drains were covered while repairing them some years ago. This not only erodes the surface during the rains, but the absence of repair has made them unfit to even walk.

Worse, the authorities concerned have failed to repair another road connecting the town to Gandhigram, for the past several years. The drive is not only bumpy for the motorists, but it has increased the wear and tear of vehicles.

Chitranjan Kumar, vice-president, Cantonment Board, said the issue had been raised before the defence authorities and they had promised to repair the road after March by providing adequate funds.

He said though letters had been written to the highest defence authorities, it had not yielded any result so far. Even the politicians had failed to help and the residents were left high and dry.

While the authorities have no funds to repair the roads, a grandiose, tiled rain shelter has been constructed on the Dosarka-Dagshai road, which is rarely used given its location. 

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