January 14, 2021

Bailey Road on Kashmir Highway in 21st Century: A crude joke

After the collapse of a bridge near Ramban on Kashmir highway the Jammu & Kashmir Government asking Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to build a bailey bridge for restoration of traffic on the arterial Kashmir route unlikely to be completed in less than 10 days is not only a crude but also a cruel joke given the fact that we are in the 21st century and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is executing the four laning dream project on this crucial highway for the last so many years. Top helmsmen of Jammu & Kashmir Government talking about industrial investment in Jammu & Kashmir and the dream merchants of the incumbent central government selling fake dreams of development in Jammu & Kashmir should hang their heads in shame over the proposal of the construction of a bailey bridge in the 21st century for restoration of the traffic after ten long days on Kashmir highway after the collapse of a bridge near Ramban. While the hassle free road connectivity is must for the expansion of industrial development in any region of the country and more so in Jammu & Kashmir in view of it’s topographical position, the central government unfortunately has not shown any interest in completing several mega road projects in most vulnerable areas between Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir and Ladhak for last several decades.  Question can be asked that is bailey bridge on Kashmir highway the central government’s maiden gift to the people of Jammu & Kashmir after it’s downgrading from a state to a union territory and scrapping of it’s special status in the 21st century. Question can also be asked that is this the way of  changing impossibilities into possibilities under the incumbent Narendra Modi led BJP government at the centre with saffron party ruling at the centre chanting slogan “ Modi Hai Tou Mumkin Hai” (if  Modi is there, impossible will become possible).

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The highways taken up by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) several years back from J&K PWD department in Jammu & Kashmir are in bad shape as the border roads organization (BRO) has failed even in maintaining well the Srinagar-Baramulla highway and Bandipora-Gurez road mostly used by army and paramilitaries for strategic purposes.  The failures of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) demand an urgent and immediate attention of the central government for announcement of a fixed timeline for the early completion of the four laning of Srinagar-Jammu highway much popularly called Kashmir highway.

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While the undeniable fact is that Ramban-Banihal track being the most vulnerable part of the Kashmir highway deserves the immediate attention of the engineers of National Highway Authority of India (NHIA) and the construction companies tasked the job of four laning on Kashmir highway, unfortunately the government takes pride in completion of Qazigund-Banihal track the second less vulnerable track after Jammu-Udhampur traffic on Kashmir highway and the work on most vulnerable Ramban-Banihal track is unlikely to be completed in next four years. Had the successive governments of Jammu & Kashmir and even the incumbent central government taken interest in completing the Mughal road connecting Kashmir with Jammu via pir panchal area, the people won’t suffer for the want of an alternative road link to Kashmir.  Interestingly the highways taken up by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) several years back from J&K PWD department in Jammu & Kashmir are in bad shape as the border roads organization (BRO) has failed even in maintaining well the Srinagar-Baramulla highway and Bandipora-Gurez road mostly used by army and paramilitaries for strategic purposes.  The failures of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) demand an urgent and immediate attention of the central government for announcement of a fixed timeline for the early completion of the four laning of Srinagar-Jammu highway much popularly called Kashmir highway.

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