Now Playing: Basohli Bani Bhadarwah Road
Topic: jammu kashmir
Basohli-Bani-Bhadarwah road serves the people of Tehsil Bani as only accessible and lifeline route to connect them with the rest of the country but due to the slow pace of work on this road project it has become a headache for the people of Basohli, Bani and Bhadarwah. This road remains blocked for six months i.e from July to Sept in Summer during rainy season and from Dec to Feb. during winter season due to snow fall in Jammu and Kashmir.
The journey from Basohli to Bani on this rough tough, tricky road takes from four to five hours when the fact is that earlier the people in the past used to travel on foot to buy their daily consumable items (ration); to get their ailments treated from Basohli and for several other reasons and if needed got returned in a single day. I have seen people taking sick persons on palaquin (Pealki) or on the back and climb the high mountains of Banjal (as it was the only on foot road connecting Bani with Basohli the other on foot road Bani Bhadarwah being desolate remained covered with snow for atleast four months).
Although the journey on foot on this Basohli-Banjal Bani route was fatigable, tricky and dangerous but a compulsion for the people of Bani. God knows how many sick persons would have had been breathed their on this on foot road for not getting treatment in time at far off hospitals.
The Basohli Bani Bhadarwah road, an alternate, shortest and tourist attractive road was taken up in the eightees and it was the dream project of our visionary and dynamic Prime Minister late Mrs Indira Gandhi. Besides it has been a long cherished demand of the people of Bani and Bhadarwah to get this road constructed. The ‘’Sampark and Beacon’’ road construction agencies were assigned to execute this road project after a thorough survey was conducted. Initially when the work on this road was started wayback in eightees only a single road construction agency i.e GREF was assigned to construct the single road from Basohli to Bhadarwah and no doubt the said agency accomplished their entrusted task although they have black topped only half of the road from Basohli to Bani whereas half of the road from Bani to Bhadarwah left half done by them on one pretext or the other.
However, now the two agencies namely: ‘Sampark’ and ‘Beacon’ has been assigned to execute the two lane road on Basohli-Bani- Bhaderwah road. From Basohli sides ‘Sampark’ road construction agency is executing the construction work and from Bhaderwah side ‘’Beacon’’ is at job to execute this double lane road.
It is a matter of concern that it is the same GREF who had done commendable work to give single road link from Basohli to Bhaderwah; the machinary might be same but Govt knows better as what kind of men and officers they have put on job to execute the work from Bhaderwah side as I have seen that in the last fifteen years they have half completed just 15 Kms from Bhaderwah.
Initially people were very happy to see their dream getting realized and some people joined as seasoned labourers but it seems that people are losing hope now and their hearts are broken. Three decades have passed since the work on this project was initiated but more than 70% still remains pending. The progress of the work is moving on the said road at snails pace.
The construction of this road is important from three aspects :
Tourism point of view : The whole Bani is a tourist attractive area. Bani town is situated alongside river Sewa, which means service. As the name suggest so does the people of Bani. One hydro electric project Sewa I has been constructed on this river and more hydel projects can be constructed on it. Bani is a bowl like valley sorrounded by mountains and it serves a central place and base camp to other tourist attractive destinations like Sarthal, Lowang, Dhaggar, Jourian Mata etc. It is also a business hub of this area. Most of the Educational and business activities are done here.
Sarthal: It is the most fascinating and attractive place of Teh Bani. Sarthal is a beautiful valley and is surrounded by lush green conifer trees. The green meadows on the low lying mountains may serve as a trekking point to tourists and it has the potential for winter and adventure sports also. Moreover, abundance of fresh water flowing in this virgin valley has the potential for creation of an artificial lake there which in turn will add more attraction to tourists and will be a source of livelihood to local people.
Cable cars can be laid down on the low lying mountains to have a glimpse of various tourist locations. Sarthal has the potential to attract lakhs of tourist if attention is paid by the Govt towards it. If we will go through its wildlife aspect; there are various rare wild species like, snow leopard, Himalayan Thur, Jungle cat, Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Indian porcupine, Hog Deer, Musk Deer, Goral etc and among Birds Monal Pheasant, Koklas pheasant, Cheer Pheasant, Red Jungle Fowl, Ram Chukor etc. All these and other rare species of its kind needs Govt attention to protect by establishing a sanctuary there. Otherwise all these rare and precious species will fell prey to the hunters. So far as flora and fauna of this area is concerned, there is abundance of various kinds of herbs and other unexplored medicinal plants which can be gauged by taking rest and sleep for a while in a meadow and one will be intoxicated by it. In nutshell voluminous books can be written on each subject on this unexplored fascinating and charming beauty of little valley Sarthal. Sarthal is one of the favourite destination of foreign tourists. Many tourists who used to come here via Bhaderwah to whome I met appreciate the beauty of Sarthal and express their willingness of visit again but all the visiting tourists have the same complaint that its road connectivity is not good. Because of that most of the tourists willing to visit to this virgin valley end up visiting up to Bhaderwah and go back with disappointment.
Lowang : A little but a beautiful village serves a base camp enroute Sarthal. The Kashmir based people settled here centuries ago are very much hospitable and educated.
Dhaggar : This village lies southwards to Bani town. Although Dhaggar does not come on Basohli-Bani-Bhadarwah road but a link road is being constructed to have a glimpse of beauty of this beautiful village.
Strategic Point of View
Basohli-Bani-Bhaderwah road is strategically important also. This road lies alongside HP & J&K boundry line. Unlike National Highway which passes through International Border from Kathua and Jammu and is prone to be effected at any point of time by other side of the IB, the said road passes through interior of our State. In this way, the National Highway can not prove a viable and because supply road as a long distance of this road may come on the target of Pakistan and may cause a lot of destruction. Moreover, once the Basohli Bridge (Work on it is in progress) and just one Tunnet at Chhater galla (which was announced by Chairperson of UPA Govt. Mrs Sonia Gandhi but work for its construction is still awaited) is constructed on the said road project at least 100 Kms. distance will be shortened as compared to Lakhanpur-Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. In this way, the Basohli-Bani-Bhadarwah road passing through the heart of our State is considered to be not only the viable and secure road but also an alternate, smooth, secure and easy transportation road for civil and military supply.
Basohli-Bani-Bhaderwah road is all weather road
As mentioned earlier this was the single and non-metalled road constructed eighteen years ago. Thereafter hardly any attention has been paid to its maintenance or repair. However, the buses and other local vehicles keep on plying on this road round the year and even local taxis ply on rough tough and non-metalic road from Bani to Bhaderwah atleast for eight months. By early completion of this road the Bhaderwah, Ramban and Kashmir will get an all weather road connectivity also. Besides this there will be a huge economic and cultural exchange in between these areas. Since Bani which is deprived of surface connectivity also; this road is the life line and backbone for the people of Bani. (jk News)
Road connectivity forms the basis for other developmental activities. When there is no roads what to think of other social infrastructure and basic amenities. Many beautiful villages in Bani are still not accessible by road and power infrastructure is weak to such an extent the Power Dev Deptt. keeps the power off for weeks together even due to a few drops of rain and people particularly students are compelled to use kerosene oil for lightening purpose or for that matter the study purpose.
So, if the works on Basohli-Bani-Bhaderwah road is accelerated, it will change the socio-economic outlook of the region.