Mughal road will not provide all weather connectivity

Politicians misleading people by projecting it as alternate to NH1A

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, May 5: Though 86 kilometer long historic Mughal road is being projected as an alternate to the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on its completion by March next year yet it would not be an all weather road and remain open for normal vehicular traffic only for eight months a year because of vulnerability of 20 kilometer stretch to landslides and avalanches.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that several politicians and Ministers have been misleading the people particularly of twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch on this side and Shopian on Kashmir valley side by claiming in their oft repeated public speeches that Mughal Road would serve as round the year alternate route to the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 1A.
Contrary to the claims of the politicians, 20 kilometer stretch of the Mughal Road from 35 kilometer milestone to 55 kilometer point is passing through such a terrain where frequent landslides during rainy season is a routine. Moreover, this portion of the Mughal Road is receiving massive snowfall during winter because of being passing through very high altitude area.
“This 20 kilometer stretch of the Mughal Road is situated at much more height than that of any of the high altitude portion of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway 1A”, sources informed, adding “keeping in view the vulnerability of this stretch to snowfall, landslides and avalanches, the Mughal Road would remain open only for eight months a year and it would be totally out of bound for remaining four months”.
Stating that because of vulnerability of this 20 kilometer stretch the historic Mughal road would not provide all weather connectivity between two border districts of Rajouri and Poonch with Shopian, they said, “only tunnel is the option to avoid landslide and avalanche prone areas. Though the requirement of tunnel is being projected ever since the start of work on this historic road yet no decision has so far been taken”.
“During every rainy season and snowfall several new landslide zones are emerging particularly on 20 kilometer stretch and keeping in view this fact the construction of tunnel becomes more imperative”, sources said while disclosing that even yesterday Assistant Executive Engineer had a miraculous escape in the sudden shooting of stones near Peer Ki Gali.
Responding to a question, sources informed that 80 to 85 per cent work has been completed on the road. “We are well within the time-frame and will meet the deadline fixed by the Government of India”, they said, adding “the remaining work is in patches of 200 meter, 600 meter and 800 meter and work on the same would begin soon”.
Admitting that rock stability issues need immediate attention, they said, “some rocks would get stabilized with the passage of time while as in some stretches the rocks have to be pro-actively stabilized”, adding “the authorities concerned have decided to invite tenders in this regard in near future so that consultants are engaged to suggest measures required to be taken for stabilization of rocks”.


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