As the closure of cross-LoC trade via Salamabad in Baramulla district of Kashmir for over a month has resulted in huge business losses, the divisional commissioner Kashmir has taken up the issue of repair of Kaman Post Bridge with Army.
The intra-Kashmir trade between J&K and Pakistan-administered Kashmir via Salamabad, Uri was suspended on March 8 for carrying repairs of Kaman Post Bridge. However, the repair work is yet to be completed which is resulting in huge business losses to 240 cross-LoC traders doing trade on this route.
Speaking to Greater Kashmir, divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan said, “I have taken up the issue of repair of bridge with concerned Corps Commander of Army. We are optimistic that work will be completed soon so that cross-LoC trade and travel services will resume at the earliest.”
The prolonged closure of trade and bus services between divided parts of Kashmir has caused huge losses to traders besides causing distress to families who frequently use the intra-Kashmir bus service.
The Valley’s apex chamber, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries has taken up the issue of delay in carrying repairs on Kaman Post Bridge with Governor as well as divisional administration.
“It is really unfortunate that the cross Loc trade and bus services are closed for last more than a month. We have taken up this issue with governor as well as divisional commissioner Kashmir,” said president KCCI, Sheikh Ashiq.
Vice president, Cross LoC Traders Association, Samiullah Bhat said that the government is using dilly dally tactics in restoring the trade.
“We have pleaded before every official whomatters in the administrative hierarchy in the state, but more than a month has passed the minor repairs are yet to be completed.” Earlier, the cross LoC trade and bus service were suspended due to pending repair works of the bridge.
“Due to the sustained use of Kaman Aman Setu for cross-LoC trade for a long period, the bridge has suffered some damage which requires immediate repairs. Inspection of the bridge was carried out by representatives of GREF (a border roads organisation wing) supported by army engineers on March 8, 2019, which indicates that the bridge needs urgent repairs and maintenance to ensure its longevity,” an official communication had stated earlier.
The repair work will require 10-15 days and the trade service will be suspended accordingly, it had said.
In October 2008, India and Pakistan announced commencement of the intra-Kashmir trade between divided parts of Kashmir as a “confidence building measure”.
The cross-LoC bus service was officially launched on April 7, 2005.