EDITORIAL

Strengthening surface communication

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In a tragic incident, three people died on Kupwara-Karnah road near Sadhna Top as they were caught in a snow storm. The unfortunate trio was footing the distance as the road still remains closed. This road has already claimed several lives as even a little drizzle makes is hazardous for travelers. The people of Karnah, who literary live on the fringes are the worst sufferers of this vulnerable road. They have all along been asking the government to take the issue seriously and help them to remain connected with the rest of the state throughout the year. There demand has been construction of a tunnel at Sadhna Top that would bypass the hazards patches of the road. Political leaders too have been pitching for construction of the tunnel but the respective governments in the state failed to move ahead on the project and arrange the funding for the tunnel. In absence of the road connectivity, the people living in Karnah sector are left at the mercy of God. This marginalized section of the society is deprived of all basic amenities particularly during winters. Yesterday’s days incident is a crude reminder to the authorities that this road needs immediate attention to help people avoid the risks to their lives and well being.

While the entire world is fast running on the super highway of communication, Kashmir is the one place which is still craving for some dependable surface communication. Same is true about Kargil and Leh. Srinagar-Jammu highway, which is the only surface link between Kashmir Valley and rest of the country remains shut most of the times during winters and the Srinagar-Kargil highway too remains closed. While on Srinagar-Jammu highway some work is going on and work on tunnels like Qazigund to Banihal is going, the pace of the work is not satisfactory. Need is to pump in the resources and make sure that these tunnels are completed in a fixed timeframe to make this highway an all weather one. Srinagar-Leh highway also remains cut during winters thus creating umpteenth trouble for the people Ladakh region. The work on Zojila tunnel has been started but here again the pace of work is too lousy. Another road connecting Valley with outer world is Mughal Road. It also becomes non mortorable during winters and could be made an all weather road with a tunnel at Peer Ki Gali.PDP-BJP government had promised a road between Tangmarg-Poonch. Nothing much happened on this front during the rule of these parties. This could be another vital road linking Kashmir with rest of the country via Poonch. Here again what is needed is a tunnel that would make it an all weather road. Within Valley, it is need of the hour that besides Sadhna tunnel, tunnels are made to connect Machil sector and Razdhan Top to connect Gurez. These areas remain cut off during winters and populace suffers. Need is to strengthen the surface communication without any further delay as this connection is vital to connect with the hearts of the people.

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