Srinagar, June 15: People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday urged union minister of road transport and highway Nitin Gadkari for construction of Mughal road tunnel.
Mufti, in a tweet, said that she has written to Nitin Gadkari to initiate construction of the Mughal road tunnel which he’d earlier assured when she met him as Chief Minister in 2017. "The Mughal road can emerge as a vital all weather road link connecting the Valley with Pir Panchal in Jammu, " she said.
In the letter, she reminded Gadkari how a few years ago, as Chief Minister she requested him to initiate the construction of three tunnels -Rajdhani, Sadhna & Mughal road.
" As you are already aware, the Mughal road is the only vital link that connects the valley to the Pir Panchal region in Jammu. Unfortunately, Kashmir is cut off from the rest of the country owing to the fact that the sole national highway connecting it remains mostly closed due to inclement weather conditions & landslides. The last few years have witnessed a surge in terms of road infrastructure & connectivity under your tenure as the Roads, Transports & Highway Minister. But even to this day, J&Ks road infrastructure hasn't changed much. As a result, people continue to suffer huge losses on an economic front & personal level, "she said.
The letter stated that the local economy is driven by horticulture which is its backbone. "I'm sure you are aware that tonnes of fruit rotted on the national highway last year due to road closure. This was catastrophic for our farmers & the transport industry. Despite Kashmir's strategic location, it remains landlocked without railway links. Exorbitant air travel leaves common masses with litle choice but to travel via roads. In such difficult circumstances, you can well imagine the inconvenience caused every time J&Ks only national highway is closed, " she said. She stressed that a tunnel through the Mughal road would not only emerge as an alternative route but also an all weather link that would facilitate human connectivity & flow of goods & services. "I remember your positive response during the course of our meeting in 2017. I write to you today hoping that you will bring your kind attention to this matter & initiate steps to kick start this project without any further delay, " she said.