Srinagar, Oct 30 (UNI) After a separation of about 200 years, the people of Anantnag in south Kashmir and Kishtwar in Jammu region, will be able to meet each other after the Mati Gawran-Warwan road is put through in December this year.
The Mati-Gawran-Warwan and Kokernag-Sinthan-Kishtwar roads would connect the people separated for centuries by the high mountain range, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
He said two centuries ago, people in the wake of a severe drought had fled Kokernag in south Kashmir to the other side of the mountain and since then generations of the separated families had remained divided on either side.
Mr Azad said his forefathers had also migrated from here to the other side and announced with a sense of satisfaction that 200 years later he, as one of the descendants of the family, was instrumental in uniting the divided people through the road link.
Mr Azad said the historic Mughal Road being a paper project for long, would soon be a reality.
He said work on the road connecting Poonch-Rajouri in Jammu division with Shopian in the Valley, was started in April 2006 and within 18 months 60 km, 30 km on either side have been completed.
He said if weather remained favourable the road would be completed in six months and by next summer traffic should be able to ply on the road.
He described the construction of the Mughal Road as a historic step aimed at shortening distances and providing alternate road link to the people in two divisions of the state.
The Chief Minister alluded to the economic benefits the three roads would accrue to the people on both sides.
He said besides developing tourism on either side these would promote trade activities directly benefiting people living in villages along these roads adding that Mati Gawran would emerge as a trade mandi for cross-Panjal commercial activities.
Efforts would be made to attract tourists visiting Kashmir to take the return route via Kokernag for a visit to Warwan and Marwah, the beautiful valleys in Kishtwar, Mr Azad said.
He said pilgrim tourists could also be encouraged to explore these beautiful places adding that his government was planning to develop tourism villages located near forests and springs and spoke at length about the measures taken to develop infrastructure facilities in roads, health, education, power and drinking water sectors.
The Chief Minister announced developing as model villages the four last habitations, two each from Kishtwar and Kokernag sides of the Panjal Mountain situated on the two upcoming roads between Mati Gawran and Warwan and Kokernag and Kishtwar.