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On death anniversary of 11 killed in 2018 by avalanche, Karnah people demand construction of tunnel on Sadhna pass

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Karnah: People of border town Karnah observed January 5 as mourning day to remember the 11 persons who died in an avalanche this day in 2018 at Sadhna Top.

On this day in 2018, 11 people including a toddler were killed when two Tata Sumo vehicles with 12 people on board were hit by an avalanche at ‘Khoni Nallah’ Sadhna top in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Residents said 5th January’s was not the first such tragedy to occur, as snow avalanches have been consuming lives in past too during winters.

Residents said four years ago on Feb 2017 an army man Mohd Abass of Chitterkote Village was forced to walk by foot 15 kilometers on heavy snow carrying his mother’s dead body on his shoulder to reach his native village for last rites. Mohd Abass was posted in Pathankote where his mother Sakeena Begum died on January 30th.

The incident should have been an eye opener for the authorities who failed to construct the tunnel, they said.

The resident of this remote area have been demanding construction of a tunnel through the Sadhna pass but the government is only giving false assurances.

After the 5 January 2018 incident, the voices for construction of the tunnel became shriller.

A top beacon official had said: “A detailed project report (DPR) for construction of 6.13 kilometre tunnel at Sadhna top on Karnah-Kupwara road is being formulated.”

Three years down the line, no work has yet been started, say locals.

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