Iqbal Ahmad

Is Mughal road really a dangerous one!

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No doubt travels can be exciting, stimulating, thrilling and breathtaking.  And discovering new places, meeting new people and experiencing new   locations often requires an effort to break out of your comfort zone, and, in doing so, travel becomes a learning experience.

But some times Travel can also be dangerous, and invites trouble, especially if you travel in the wrong vehicles and on the dangerous routes or at the wrong time.

The yesterdays road accident on the historic Mughal road can be classified as one such example where the travel proved disastrous for the victims of Surenkote’ based computer institute, eleven of them, who died in a fatal road accident. This terrible accident swallowed the young and precious lives of computer institute students of Surenkote and brought grief and sorrow  to the members of the families who have lost their dear ones. It also shook the entire humanity of this state.      As per reports carried in the  local press eleven students got killed and several  others injured when a Tempo they were travelling in crashed after plummeting around 500 feet down a gorge along the mountainous Mughal road in Shopian district on Thursday afternoon.

As per reports, the students of ‘Kashish Computer Institute’, a private centre,   were on an excursion to Dobijan Shopian from Surankote area of district Poonch when the accident took place.

The eleven students died even before they could be evacuated to hospital while seven others including the driver of the ill-fated vehicle sustained grave injuries.

Although this has been the major accident on this road so far, but several other minor accidents have taken place on this route earlier as well. Soon after this tragedy happened, the administration as well as the politicians, whether mainstream or separatist, came up with long press statements expressing grief and sorrow over this tragedy. Expressing grief is alright but the administration as well as the politicians should wake up and learn a lesson from this horrific tragedy and take concrete decisions and steps so that such tragedies aren’t repeated again.

It is not only Mughal road, there are even more difficult and dangerous roads in the civilized world but hardly such tragedies happen. It is our inefficient and careless driving, poor transport and road maintenance management that such tragedies take place.

In fact the Mughal road had been thrown open for general vehicular traffic and it has got its own fun and excitement to travel on this route to view the natural and heritage sites all along the route.   There are several spots worth seeing on this route including  Dobijan Meadow, Sukh saria, Aliabad Saria , Lal Gulam, Peer Ki Gali, CHandimud and Noori Chamb.

There is one curios site also located on this route called   Lal Gulam, a mysterious place named after a  Mughal slave called Lal. A curious legend states that, at this site, travelers in the past would cross a narrow passage which often carried the risk of slipping down to the Nallah (rivulet). The mughal carvans during their journey on this route at this particular spot have traditionally suffered human losses and to avoid these losses they offered the sacrifice of Lal, the slave.

Call it a coincidence or anything else, it was at this curios place that the ill fated tempo slipped from the road and fell into the deep garage resulting in human loss. I am not being superstitious here and all I want to suggest is that the advanced technology and the machine support that the concerned departments posses these days should make this patch smooth for the commuters so that no Lal Gulam needs to be sacrificed again.

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