Minister for R&B Abdul Majid Wani Monday said that the prestigious and historic Mughal Road has become reality only due to generous funding by the Government of India and especially its approval to full funding under Prime Minster Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,39,85.00 Crores by UPA-Ist & IInd. “The road has proved a bridge between two regions of the J&K i.e. Poonch area of Jammu with Kashmir valley besides providing an alternative to NH1A connecting Kashmir with rest of India,” he said in a statement.Wani added that the Mughal Road due to its high altitude and hostile weather conditions provides connectivity only for six months (fair weather) and faces disruptionduring winter months from November to April. “I have already made a request for funding construction of a tunnel on the Mughal road to make it an all weather road. The Government of J&K is facing intense demand from all quarters regarding this for circumventing high snow (more than 20 feet) and high risk zone of around 20 kilometers at Peer Ki Gali .The proposed tunnel of approximate 08 kilometers length shall further reduce the road length by 12 kilometers and make the road safe and all weather,” he said.
The R&B Department has already started process of pre- feasibility studies for the viability of the tunnel project. It is pertinent to mention here that consequent upon the inspection of the Mughal Road Project by B. K. Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission of India, on 23rd July, 2013 alongwith the officers of the State Government and his appreciation of the requirement for construction of a tunnel on the said road, the State Government forwarded a copy of the DPR to the Planning Commission of India.
Further during its inspection by the 3rd Party consultants constituted by the Planning Commission of India, it was recommended that construction a tunnel is immensely required for making the road all weather and economically viable.
The Minister added that he has time and again made fervent appeal for considering and approving this vital project for the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are already indebted to Government of India for this great asset. “The tunnel once constructed, shall further impart reliance to this highway which is an alternate to existing National Highway (NH1A) connecting Kashmir with rest of India. The tourism potential of the road cannot be undermined as two prestigious international road rallies in the last two years have already successfully been held,” Wani added.