25 days, 375 men and Rs 8 lakh spent on Mughal road snow clearance

Historic road shut again after last week snow

Shopian: In 25 days, 375 men, seven machines besides Rs 8 lakh were spent on machines and fuel to carry out snow clearance on the Mughal road.
The road which connects Shopian in south Kashmir with Pirpanjal region in Jammu was shut for traffic following November 7 heavy snow. Since then, the clearance operation was carried out for 25 days to keep the road open only for a few days with another bout of snow last week shutting the road again.
Assistant engineer mechanical engineering division Anantnag Ansar Hameed said that they carried out snow clearance on the road for about 25 days since November 10 but the repeated snowfall led to the continuous closure of road.
According to him, 15 men and seven machines were pressed into the service daily to clear the road for vehicular traffic. This totalled comprises 375 labourers for carrying out the job.
Apart from this, Hameed told Kashmir Reader that Rs 8 lakh were spent on hiring machines and fuel charges during more than three weeks.
The road is usually closed for vehicular movement by the beginning of December every year. However this time, it was closed on November 5 due to untimely snowfall and inclement weather since then.
The government of India is planning to make the road all weather by proposing a tunnel on most vulnerable stretch of the road.
Many senior officials, however, believe that exhausting men and machinery on snow clearance is a futile exercise. They said that the existing road is not in a condition to be kept open for vehicular movement even after snow clearance because of apprehension massive avalanches and landslides.
The 84 kilometre road is jointly maintained by Mughal road project division Shopain and Poonch. The historic road which connects Kashmir with Poonch and Rajouri has increased people-to-people contact between the two regions.
But the frequent closure of the road in winters has affected people.

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