A New Kashmir Roadmap

Finally after years of effort and some disappointing reverses, Northern Railways has completed a key section linking Qazigund with Banihal. This section comprises 11.2 Kilometre long transportation channel, India's longest, built after a seven years of sustained work. And if the current accomplishment is any indication, we will soon have the train plying between Baramulla and Banihal and this will be first time that there will be a railway line between the provinces of Kashmir and Jammu. This will not only reduce travel time - the distance between Qazigund and Banihal will decrease  from 35 km by road to 17.729 km – but also bring people closer.  However, it will be years before we can have train chugging between Udhampur and Baramulla. The project which was earlier scheduled to be completed in 2007 at an estimated cost of Rs 3,077 crore is now expected to be completed only in 2017-18 at a cost of Rs 19,565 crore.  Though it has assumed a certain centrality in the infrastructure development of the state, the railway line is but part of the massive ongoing tunnel and road building activity across the state. In October, Rahul Gandhi laid the foundation of 6.5 km Z-Morh tunnel at Sonamarg which along with 13 kilometre Zojila tunnel will make possible an all-weather road to Ladakh. Similarly, an alternative road will link Kashmir Valley with Poonch in Jammu province. It is called Mughal road. Efforts are also on to connect district Doda with Valley through shorter all-weather routes. And once completed, the railway line and the roads will stitch Kashmir together with concrete and asphalt and connect places and people alienated from each other by geography. Together with cross-LoC routes like Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote which seek to promote trade and travel between divided parts of Kashmir, these internal links are due to usher in a profound transformation in Kashmir. However, what remains a cause of worry is the long gestation period of these projects which are set back by the tough terrain and the inordinate official delay in their execution. There is thus an urgent need to expedite the work on these projects to realize the goal of a truly integrated J&K with its limitless opportunities for the trade and travel, both within and with the divided  part of the state across LoC. But the full benefit of these developments can only be derived when the lingering question of Kashmir is resolved to the satisfaction of all the contending parties.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • TwitThis
  • Mixx
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Print News

Enter the Security code exactly as you see it in the image security code is CaSe SeNsItIvE(Cookies must be enabled)

  • Kashmir

SHRC to investigate 1990 Gaw Kadal massacre

‘Report To Be Completed In 2-Months’


Srinagar, Dec 26: In a significant development, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Wednesday ordered an inquiry by its investigation wing into the 1990 Gaw Kadal massacre here in which 51 people More

  • Srinagar City




Srinagar, Dec 26: In blatant violation of environmental norms and public outcry, construction of Skewed bridge across river Jhelum here is going on at a full swing.  The under-construction bridge More

  • Jammu

‘Night soil of 60000 latrines goes into open drains’


Jammu, Dec 26: Night soil of over 60 thousand latrines is disposed into open drains without any sewage treatment in Jammu and Kashmir, according to figures released by state's Directorate of Census Operation More

  • South Asia

Osama paid Rs 50, 000 bribe to Patwari


Islamabad, Dec 26: Even the world's most wanted man could not escape the bribery dragnet. Osama bin Laden's safe-house in Pakistan's garrison city Abbottabad was built after paying a bribe of Rs 50,000 More

  • World

Egypt gets first people-approved constitution

Cairo, Dec 26: Over a year after overthrowing an entrenched dictator, Egypt today adopted a new constitution after a two-thirds 'yes' vote in a polarising referendum, triggering fresh protests from the More

  • Kupwara

Shahabad residents demand bridge

5 drown in 3-yrs in Warnow Nallah

Shahabad (Kupwara) Dec 26: Residents of Shahabad in this frontier district are up in arms against the government for failing to construct a bridge over Warnow Nallah as five persons have drowned in the More

Designed Developed and Maintaned By Imobisoft Ltd /Algosol Software Solutions