SRINAGAR: The clearing of snow from the arterial Mughal Road, which connects different parts of Kashmir, came as a relief for the locals as their travel time is reduced.
"This road had been closed for six months due to heavy snowfall. The Chief Minister was also pressing for the reopening of the road as soon as possible. Now the road has been reopened for light vehicles and this will benefit the people of the districts of Rajouri and Poonch. It will be beneficial for the traders who bring in the vegetables. The distance is also less and people from Poonch and Rajouri reach Srinagar in less time," said Sajjad Khan, the development Commissioner for Poonch district.
It also proved to be a boon for the traders in the valley.
The historical Mughal Road officially reopened on Monday by the authorities after being cleared for traffic.
The road is closed in the winter months due to heavy snowfall and the traders and travellers hailed its reopening.
The road acts as a lifeline for the border villages of Kashmir.
Heavy snowfall in the region this year had left locals to bear the brunt of the cold snap as closure of the highway had impeded travel and food supplies.
The local traders were also very happy at the reopening of the road as their travel time was reduced.
"We used to go to Srinagar and people used to go there from far off places. But we could not go there easily as it was a long route, as we had to go via Jammu. There were problems related travelling as well. Now we can travel again as the Mughal Road has reopened after remaining closed for six months due to heavy snowfall. We were waiting for it to reopen so that we could travel again," said Mohammad Sharif, a local trader.
This year's brutal cold wave and incessant snowfall had also severely disrupted power and water supplies.
Kashmir, still sullen and deeply alienated from India, cannot, it seems, escape the power of India's 1.6 trillion dollar economy growing at eight percent despite severe problems of governance that have taken the shine off the country as an investment destination.
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