Two days ago in Udhampur four members of a family died in a deadly road accident while on way to Jammu. The driver of the car they were travelling in lost control and fell into the deep gorge resulting into this massive tragedy which left all human hearts shocked and deeply saddened.
This is not the first time that this tragic highway consumed precious human lives. It has been consuming human beings like a beast for decades. Given the treacherous passes and poor maintenance of the road, it is making the journey of people quite troublesome.
Many of the families have lost all their family members while facing fatal accidents on this road. The bloody highway which is the only lifeline that Kashmir has to get connected with the rest of the country even in winters remains closed for days and sometimes weeks triggering a massive humanitarian crisis. People face shortage of food, medicines and other essentials when it remains locked.
The government of India which is working to upgrade it as a four lane has achieved significant feet in completing a major portion of it. But there are still some portions left which give tough time to the executive agencies. Since there are no alternatives left for over 8 million people expect this road to travel to the mainland, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure its speedy completion and lace with all the required technology to minimize such mishaps in future.
It has been almost two decades now the work on the road is underway with no sight of its completion. The economic sufferings due to non completion of roads can’t be even overlooked. During the peak season of apple harvesting, hundreds of fruit laden trucks could remain stranded on the road leading to apple rot and huge financial loss to the growers.
It is also an undeniable fact that in the past few years, the speed of work is satisfactory but it needs to be prioritized to avoid economic loss of people. The strategic importance of the highway can’t be ignored with two hostile neighbours Pakistan and China standing on the other side. Let the government wake up and direct executive agencies to complete the upgradation work on it in a given time frame.