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April 29, 2012

Kashmiris heave a sigh of relief as Gurez-Bandipora road reopens after four months

     Srinagar: Residents of Srinagar heaved a sigh of relief after the Gurez-Bandipora was reopened on Saturday after a gap of four months. The accumulation of snow in the area had led to the closure of the 83-kilometre road. The road is generally opened after May, but frenetic and persistent efforts by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and other subsidiaries began snow clearance well on time. Residents expressed relief as they were going to meet their families after a long time, as the winters had proved to be a season of trouble and misery for them. "We are very happy today because we are going home after six months. We are going to meet our family after a very long time, because in winters the roads are covered with about 10 to 15 feet of snow, so it is impossible to travel from one place to another. So, coming to Gurez-Bandipur road is impossible. The government would run a helicopter service, but that would happen once in a month and 10 people would travel together," said Aijaz Ahmed, a resident. Chief Engineer, Border Roads Organisation, Brigadier T.P.S. Rawat said this year, the road has been reopened before time and called it a great achievement. "In the last season, the Gurez road was closed in the end of November and it was reopened on the 9th or 10th of May. So, if you see the overall period, it was around five and a half months. This year, it was open till the end of December and as you have seen today, it has been only four months. So, I think that's a great achievement," he said. Earlier this year, heavy snowfall in the region had made the locals to bear the brunt of the continuing cold snap as closure of the highway impeded travel and food supplies. This year's brutal cold wave and incessant snowfall had also severely disrupted power and water supplies.
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