BREAKING NEWS

05-12-2021     3 رجب 1440

Highway Mess

April 05, 2021 |

Despite all the claims of development and transforming the infrastructure landscape of J&K, the Jammu-Srinagar highway remains a commuter’s nightmare. Every now and then we hear reports that the highway, the strategic link that connects Kashmir with the rest of the world, has got blocked due to landslides and shooting stones. In the 21st century that we are living in, few hours of rain turns the strategic road unusable for commuters. The blockade causes shortage of essentials like fuel, mutton, rice and others in the market while it gives a free hand to black marketers who stock up, creating artificial shortage which consequently leads to rise in prices. Earlier, there was a small portion of the highway between Qazigund and Banihal that was affected by landslides. Now almost the entire stretch of the highway as far as Udhampur faces similar problems. Whenever the government faces a crisis situation, which was the case during winter when the highway was closed for weeks on stretch, committees are set up to identify the loopholes and remove the bottlenecks in the process of four-laning of the highway. But these committees end up buying time. Nothing changes on the ground. The situation in fact has been getting from bad to worse. Even the basic issue such as the land acquisition process has not been completed fully, even though all the working sites have been handed over to the NHAI for starting construction works. Last year, a senior officer of J&K’s finance department said the four-laning project would be completed within one-and-half years. But given the pace at which the work is going on, it seems that even two years may not be enough to finish work on the highway. It is true that in view of the topography of the hilly terrain between Ramban and Banihal which includes more tunnels and bridges to avoid landsliding and sinking areas, the work has got somewhat delayed. But the NHAI and contractors have failed in ensuring proper maintenance of existing roads for hassle-free movement of vehicles. Environmentalists have been expressing concerns that constant digging and other excavation works on the massive mountains along the 270-km road stretch have made the highway more prone to shooting stones and landslides. They have argued that the worse is yet to come. Hopefully, the government will complete the new stretch of road between Banihal and Ramban by that time. Otherwise, Kashmir may be eternally cut off from the rest of the country.

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Highway Mess

April 05, 2021 |

Despite all the claims of development and transforming the infrastructure landscape of J&K, the Jammu-Srinagar highway remains a commuter’s nightmare. Every now and then we hear reports that the highway, the strategic link that connects Kashmir with the rest of the world, has got blocked due to landslides and shooting stones. In the 21st century that we are living in, few hours of rain turns the strategic road unusable for commuters. The blockade causes shortage of essentials like fuel, mutton, rice and others in the market while it gives a free hand to black marketers who stock up, creating artificial shortage which consequently leads to rise in prices. Earlier, there was a small portion of the highway between Qazigund and Banihal that was affected by landslides. Now almost the entire stretch of the highway as far as Udhampur faces similar problems. Whenever the government faces a crisis situation, which was the case during winter when the highway was closed for weeks on stretch, committees are set up to identify the loopholes and remove the bottlenecks in the process of four-laning of the highway. But these committees end up buying time. Nothing changes on the ground. The situation in fact has been getting from bad to worse. Even the basic issue such as the land acquisition process has not been completed fully, even though all the working sites have been handed over to the NHAI for starting construction works. Last year, a senior officer of J&K’s finance department said the four-laning project would be completed within one-and-half years. But given the pace at which the work is going on, it seems that even two years may not be enough to finish work on the highway. It is true that in view of the topography of the hilly terrain between Ramban and Banihal which includes more tunnels and bridges to avoid landsliding and sinking areas, the work has got somewhat delayed. But the NHAI and contractors have failed in ensuring proper maintenance of existing roads for hassle-free movement of vehicles. Environmentalists have been expressing concerns that constant digging and other excavation works on the massive mountains along the 270-km road stretch have made the highway more prone to shooting stones and landslides. They have argued that the worse is yet to come. Hopefully, the government will complete the new stretch of road between Banihal and Ramban by that time. Otherwise, Kashmir may be eternally cut off from the rest of the country.


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© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved. Quantum Technologies

Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.