J&K Seeks NH Status For Mughal Road, Its Limbs25 December 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The State Government has approached the Union Surface Transport Ministry for according National Highway status to Mughal road and its 84-kilometer long limbs on both sides which will yield more funds for the annual maintenance of historic road and help in keeping it open even during winter when the area witnesses huge snowfall. Official sources told the EXCELSIOR that Roads and Buildings Department, which has already held discussions over the matter at top level in the Union Surface Transport Ministry, has written a formal letter to the Ministry seeking status of National Highway for historic Mughal Road, which has been made worthy for limited traffic under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme (PMRP). 'Not only the 84 kilometer road from Bufliaz to Shopian, even limbs of the Mughal road-45 kilometer stretch from Rajouri to Bufliaz and 35 kilometer road from Pampore to Shopian have also been recommended for considering the part of historic road and subsequent declaration as National Highway', sources said. At present, 84-kilometer Bufliaz to Shopian falls in the State Road category while as Rajouri to Bufliaz is a single lane village road and Pampore to Shopian falls in Major District Road category, they informed, adding considering Rajouri to Bufliaz village road as part of Mughal road and its up-gradation is also the demand of Rajouri people, who have recently raised the issue before the Union Home Ministry’s Task Force during its visit to the district few days back. The request to Union Surface Ministry was necessitated as Border Roads Organization (BRO), under whose jurisdiction the Rajouri-Bufliaz single lane village road falls has refused to upgrade it for providing Rajouri district a direct link with Mughal Road, sources said while disclosing that this was basically the original link of historic route. They said that Chief Minister is also going to take up the matter with the Union Surface Transport Ministry personally for early grant of status. To a question, sources said that grant of NH status would result into more funds for the Mughal road and its limbs particularly for annual maintenance in order to keep the road open even during the snowfall. 'It would be only after grant of this status that even proposals for constructing tunnels on Mughal Road to avoid some vulnerable spots will be prepared and considered', they added. Meanwhile, S P Singla Construction Company of Haryana has been allotted the work of carrying out all sorts of investigations, preparing designs and construction of seven major bridges on Mughal Road. The company has been given a time frame of 24 months to complete the assigned task, sources said while disclosing that at present service bridges are being used for ensuring limited traffic on the road. Besides seven major bridges, there are a total of 424 culverts and 21 minor bridges on the historic road and the Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) is constructing them.