Editorial | Geography of isolation

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Geography is a core determinant when the case of the economic development of any region comes up. In case of Kashmir we face some huge problems on account of its geography and the difficulty of its terrain through which the roads to other adjoining areas pass. This problem compounds during winters. Once the winter season sets in, and we have snowfall, we witness a worst kind of isolation. For good number of days, even in this technologically advanced time, we cannot travel to or from Kashmir. It sounds some kind of hyperbole and may be those who don’t know this place may take it as a piece of fiction. But the fact of the matter is that we have remained isolated in the past and there are no reasons for us to believe that the situation would change for better in the near future. Just in the last month, and even before that when we had some rains the lone road that connects Kashmir to the rest of the world remained closed for some days.  And this is accepted as a routine by all the people living in this region.

Now that the winters are approaching we know that tough days are ahead. Once again the road will be closed for days together, and this will happen not once but multiple times during the winter months. On top of it there will be huge and tortuous traffic jams. This was the scene last year, and as we all expect it will be the same this year. Now the all important question, and the one that has been asked a million times before. Is there any solution to this? Can this problem be solved for good? Given the developments in technology and also the fact that Kashmir can be linked to the rest of the areas through multiple roads, the problem should have been solved many years back. Why it has not happened leaves a big question mark. But for now, the least people can ask for is to manage this road, as it is right now, and the traffic movement on this,  in  a way that causes minimum disruption.