The Bold Voice of J&K

Atal Setu sans link

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Dear Editor,
Thirty kilometers long Mahanpur-Basohli link is important in many ways for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The link is the lifeline for the people living in the remote and inaccessible parts of Basohli, Bani, Bhadarwah and Billawar. It is the old trade route between Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country, a gateway to the world of hilly tourism. There is one more cause of its being important as this link joins the village of Prof. Nirmal Singh Deputy Chief Minister, and constituency headquarters Basohli of State’s Cabinet Minister Ch. Lal Singh, who uses this link frequently. But it is shocking to mention here that the link, which is so important from every angle, has wide pot-holes and pits due to the negligence of PWD department for decades. The whole link has blind curves and sharp turns which has resulted into many fatal accidents in the past. The link is made unnecessarily lengthy in order to mint money. The journey by the link is both jolting and jerky which is also unsafe for the patients and the expecting women to travel on. Even after ten months of the inauguration of the Atal Setu over Ravi the link which should have been converted into the four lanes is still in the dilapidated condition. Hundreds of the tourists from the neighbouring state come to Basohli in order to see the unique bridge and the tourist spots around Basohli but they return disappointed due to the lack of further connectivity. The trade between the Jammu and Kashmir is also suffering a lot due to the bad condition of the Basohli-Mahanpur link which can prove economical boon for the traders both in terms of time and expenditure. Being the shortest route, the tourists for Srinagar and the devotees for the sacred shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi will prefer the Basohli-Udhampur route instead via Pathankot to Jammu. It is strange how do our ministers who travel on the same link, for their home village and the constituency headquarters Basohli, without taking the notice of the condition of the road they travel on. It means either our ministers put on coloured glasses or go in deep slumber while travelling on the link. For boosting the tourism and the trade of the Jammu and Kashmir state, government should prioritize the work on the said link as soon as possible.
Shiv Kumar Padha

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