Re-opening of Mughal Road brings cheer to people in Shopian

Travellers rue absence of wayside amenities
A cab crosses a bridge along Mughal Road in Pir Panjal range amid snow.
A cab crosses a bridge along Mughal Road in Pir Panjal range amid snow.File: ANI

Shopian, May 13 : The re-opening of historic Mughal Road has provided people in south Kashmir's Shopian district a reason to cheer. However, the travellers complained  about the lack of wayside amenities along the road meandering through the lofty Pir Panjal mountains.

The arterial road, which connects Poonch an Rajouri districts of Jammu division to south Kashmir's Shopian district  was officially closed in last December due to heavy snowfall, which clogged up the road. The announcement of the  administration to reopen the road from Saturday  touched off a wave of euphoria among the local residents, traders, travellers and  students.

" The Poonch and Rajouri districts remained out of bounds from this side for around six months. We are happy that the administration has  finally re-opened the road", said Aijaz Ahamd, Sarpanch of Heerpora, the last village along the road from Shopian side. The restaurant owners, shopkeepers and other traders in the village said that the re-opening of road would give a boost to the trade.  "Re-opening of the road would help both business community and transporters in both Rajouri and Shopian districts," said a local shopkeeper.

The  travellers, however, complained about the lack of wayside amenities including toilets, eateries, and other utility services. The lack of these services discourages many to travel along the road. "A simple tyre puncture could leave you standard for hours", said Mubashir Ahamd, a resident. He said that in absence of toilet facility women travellers usually  hesitate to take this route.

"Moreover, one goes incommunicado as soon as crossing the Heerpora village. One cannot make a phone call in case of an emergency", he added. Suhail Malik, Executive Officer MCS told Greater Kashmir that they are working on installing the toilets and e-passenger sheds along the road.

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