Shutkadi village lying in the lap of picturesque Sonmarg here in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district are immensely suffering ever since the work on the construction of Z-Morh tunnel was started in 2015.
The 6.5 kilometre long Z-Morh tunnel which is a Z-shaped stretch of road between Sonamarg and Gagangir is being operated by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL). This Corporation is a fully owned company of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India.
The Shutkadi villagers assembled near Z-Morh Tunnel today and staged a protest against authorities for not compensating them for the losses they have incurred.
“It’s a hell like situation here. There is noise and air pollution. Our houses have been damaged due to high intensity blasting. Even concrete houses have developed cracks. One can’t walk on roads due to enormous dust. The Operators of this tunnel even don’t bother to sprinkle water on these dusty roads. These roads are cleaned only when some top officials visit here,” the protesters told news agency .
The protesters mostly females said they are not against the construction of this tunnel but there is a need to follow proper guidelines. “We requested them to go for low intensity blasting but all our pleas have gone to deaf ears. We requested them to remove dirt and dust from adjacent areas of the tunnel but of no avail. The operators of the tunnel don’t bother to listen to us,” they said.
They said from past 5 years they are waiting for the compensation that has not been provided to them despite the fact that the then Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal in his report had given a nod for the same.
“A committee under SDM Kangan was constituted to look into the matter related to the compensation. The officials from Geology and Mining, Revenue, R&B, Sonmarg Development Authority, Police and other departments were part of the committee. From past three years, this committee has failed to compile a report pertaining to compensation,” the protesters said seeking intervention of present Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal in this regard. (KNT)