January 2004 News

Survey conducted for Srinagar, Muzaffarabad road

18 January 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir Government has submitted a project of Rs 570 crore to the Centre for widening the national highway from Uri to Srinagar in anticipation of opening of Srinagar-Muzzafarabad road as border roads organisation has completed a survey for opening the road link. Highly-placed State Government sources said that the proposal for widening of the 102-km road from Uri to Srinagar includes acquisition of land for making it a four-lane highway. State Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had been requesting the Centre, including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to change the starting point of its prestigious four laning of Kashmir-Kanyakumari National Highway from Srinagar to Uri. The State Government has been pressing for early beginning of the bus service between Srinagar and Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and has been initiating various measures in anticipation of opening of the road. The sources said the Army’s Border Roads Organisation along with State Public Works Department had conducted a survey of the area and is believed to have reported that the road till Uri could be made operational within four months. Muzzafarabad was only 33 km from the last post of Line of Control in Uri. During a meeting held in Srinagar recently, the BRO stated that they would build a bally bridge between Uri and area in the PoK. The bridge was damaged during the 1947 conflict in that area. The sources said the area had been de-mined completely. Army had laid landmines in this hilly terrain during the 'Operation Prarakram'. The State Government would also begin soon building of wayside facilities including bus stops, toilets, restaurants, motels besides landscaping. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was likely to visit this border town soon, they said. The Uri town, located in the north of Jammu and Kashmir, has been the biggest victim of unprovoked shelling from Pakistani side as it is surrounded by Pakistani rangers from three sides. Pakistan recently agreed to India’s proposals for technical-level talks on bus link between Srinagar and Muzafarrabad. The Srinagar- Muzafarrabad bus link formed part of the 12 proposals mooted by India on October 22 which included restoration of cricketing and other sporting links between the two countries. Islamabad accepted the proposal in principle but with a rider that UN officials should man checkpoints and people should travel on this route with UN documents, a suggestion rejected by India. (PTI)


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