Work speeds up for new road to restore connectivity in Kashmir

February 22nd, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Bani (Jammu and Kashmir), Feb 22 (ANI): An age old pending demand of the people of Bani Valley in Kathua district of Jammu will finally come true, as the state government has stepped up the work on construction of an alternate road between Bani and Banderwah area.
Almost 500,000 people from the three hill districts of Kashmir-Doda, Kishtwar and Banderwah have remained cut-off from the rest of the nation since February 7 due to heavy overnight rains that washed off parts of the main linking roadway.
Residents of the area have started running short of essential supplies, which calls for step for the earliest possible relief for locals.
Situated on a 9,000 feet high altitude, the Bani- Banderwah road is an 86 kilometres long stretch of dense forests covered with heaps of snow during winters.
In 1990, the government had issued a notice to start earthwork on the Bani-Banderwah road, but the work was abandoned two years later due to hurdles caused by militancy.
The government, however, has swung into action following the recent collapse of the Jammu-Srinagar Highway-1B between Batote and Kishtwar due to the violent water waves of the Chenab river.
Courtesy Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’’s instructions, the road clearance work in the region has started and is expected to be complete within a few days.
The General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) has deployed manpower and machinery that are working day and night to restore the vital link in the snow-bound Himalayan region.
Labourers working on the road are also taking keen interest in constructing the road.
“Our relatives are there in Bhaderwah. Our aim is to open this road as early as possible. We are working overtime in the night as well as during the day. Everybody is working hard in order to open this road as soon as possible,” said Mohammad Shafi, a labourer.
Fiaz Ahmed, another local resident believes that the opening of this road will also help in boosting tourism in the region.
The road connectivity between Bani and Banderwah, expected to be restored within days would prove be a milestone for the government and a blessing for local residents here. (ANI)

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