‘Sadhna Tunnel’ still a long distant dream masses

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Mohammad Tahir

Kupwara: From past many years, scores of people died under snow avalanches that usually hit the area during winters and due to closure of road people remains cut off from rest of the world, as the long pending demand for tunnel at Sadhna top has still remained a dream for masses living close to the LoC in this frontier district of north Kashmir.

On March 11, three civilian of Karnah thesil were killed due to snow blizzard at Khooni Nallah as they were returning home after spending few months out of station.

“A group of five people were returning to their native village Karnah, among which three died due to serve cold, while as two people returned back to the nearby army camp at Sadhna top and informed them about the unfortunate incident who quickly launched rescue operation and retrieved the bodies of slain locals, said Mohammad Rafeeq of Batpora Karnah.

Locals identified the deceased as Tahir Younis (22) son of Mohd Younis, Abdul Khaliq Sheikh (40) son of Ghulam Qadir, both residents of Hajinard Karnah and Fareed Ahmad (25) son of Laldin of Shamspora, Karnah.

Governor Satya Pal Malik, Former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Vice President National Conference Omar Abdullah, Chairman PC, Sajad Gani Lone, and others poltical leaders expressed their sympathies with the bereaved family of the deceased.

However a local resident of Keran-Karnah Abdul Majeed while narrating the ordeal said that, “this is not the first incident in our area, last year on January 6, a pall of gloom descended over the residents of Tangdar, Keran, Karnah and other areas, after eleven bodies were recovered in two different avalanches that struck in the area,”.

A police official said that, a group of people had gone missing when they were on their way from Kupwara to Karnah in a Tata Sumo bearing registration no JK09A- 3249, adding an avalanche struck in Karnah police jurisdiction after a Border Roads Organization (BRO) engineer, who was hit by an avalanche in the same area, was recovered but could not survived.

Another engineer was also killed in the incident as rescue operations were extremely difficult due to temperature that remains below zero degree, the police official said.

Alam resident of Karnah said that, the Sadhna top is being considered as gateway of Karnah thesil as there are dozens of villages that gets connected with rest of the world through this route.

The Sadhna top is located at an altitude of around 11000 feet above the sea level and 80 Km long Kupwara-Tangdhar road receives more than 10 to 12 feet of snow every year during winters with the result it remains cuts off.

Many times in past people living here held a strong protest against the government as they had been demanding for the tunnel at Sadhna top.

However last year on November 29, Government of India approved extension of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link up to Kupwara in north Kashmir.

Anil Srivastava, Advisor (Transport) NITI Aayog said in his communication to Chief Secretary J&K BVR Subrahmanyam that, “I am glad to inform you that Railways has prioritized the extension of rail link from Baramulla to Kupwara and has sanctioned an updated survey for the new link,”.

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