Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday expressed concern over the frequent occurrence of fatal road accidents on Jammu- Srinagar highway, terming the 294 km road stretch nothing less than a death trap.
In a statement issued here, senior PDP leader and Former R&B Minister Naeem Akhtar said that central government has miserably failed in performing their duties due to which scores of people are being killed and the highway continues to remain a death trap for the passengers.
The PDP leader added that the connectivity to Kashmir has unfortunately been reduced to the minimum requirement of keeping supplies for security forces only and that civilian traffic, the safety of passengers and everything else has gone haywire.
He added that the upgradation of the national highway doesn’t make any sense unless the portion between Ramban and Banihal is fully tunnelled. “This will be an exercise in futility because it will always remain a fair whether road. Fair weather is not only now restricted to the days when it snows and rains during winters- it is spreading now all over the year as the mountains have got further destabilised because of blasting and construction.
Akhtar said that there are modern solutions to it which the previous government had projected to the central government and but the PDP led government at that time was informed that the project report in this is being reviewed and reworked. However, said Akhtar, the Governor administration failed to follow it up and with the result Kashmir is destined, perhaps, not to have an all-weather road and a decent highway that could connect the landlocked region with the rest of the world. “The importance of this issue is lost as the government is turning its eyes away from it without any compunction. The sense of siege both at internal as well as at the external level in Kashmir gets strengthened through the indifference of the government,” said Akhtar.
He added that it is ironic to find the Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar Jammu highway in shambles even when claims of large scale development in the state have become rampant. According to the PDP leader, even after 72 years after the state acceded to the Union, people still wait for the all-weather road.
The Former Minister said that the PDP government had with the central government discussed in detail the need of tunnelling between Ramban and Banihal section so that vehicular movement on the highway remains uninterrupted and smooth even during the inclement weather. “Though the proposal was agreed by the central government but the present administration has failed to follow it up,” said Akhtar.