Muzaffarabad bus to resume in 2 months
13 October 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar: The historic cross-border bus service will resume within two months as the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road will be repaired and made operational by that time, the Army said today. 'The Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road is badly damaged at several segments up to the Kaman Post near the Line of Control (LoC). It will be opened in two months,' General Officer-in-Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps Lt Gen S S Dhillon told a news conference here. He said about 10-km stretch of the Jhelum valley road is badly damaged due to landslides, triggered by the devastating earthquake that hit Jammu and Kashmir and its neighbourhood on October 8. 'It is difficult to repair the road on both sides because we dont have the necessary equipment on the other side,' Gen Dhillon added. He said the 'Aman Setu' or Peace Bridge, which reunited divided families of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir, has also been badly damaged due to massive landslides. 'It will take about two months to repair the road from Uri to the Kaman Post. The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road will finally reopen in two months...May be a little longer, but somewhere in the region of two months,' the Corps Commander said. He said it will take some time to reach there and make an assessment as to when the road could be made operational. Gen Dhillon said it was not an issue as even earlier there was no traffic on the road as the passengers would walk across the LoC. Once the road opens, he said the normal movement of the historic Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service will start again. It was on October six that 66 passengers, including five Sikhs and three Hindus, on board the 14th 'Karavan-e-Aman (Caravan of Peace)' had crossed the Aman Setu to enter Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) through Chakothi. And 52 passengers arrived from PoK from the same route on that day. The 15th peace bus was scheduled to roll out from here to Muzaffarabad on October 20.