At last, the good day for the historic Mughal Road is about to dawn after remaining in oblivion for so many centuries. The road which the Mughal emperors used for visiting Kashmir remained a fair weather road for the reason that the six kilometer long stretch between Jazna and Chata Paani remained snow bound and impassable. However, the need of an alternative link to Kashmir was a priority because the existing link from Jammu to Srinagar via Ramban has become worn out. Actually, the mountains over which the Mughal Road passes and enters Kashmir valley at Hirpura, are of solid rock and do not succumb to landslides with even a small rain and snow.
The Chief Minister had recently taken up the issue of declaring this link road as National Highway, which meant that if accepted, it would be given the status along with other National Highways and thus its construction and maintenance would be in accordance with the norm set forth for National Highways. We learn that the Ministry of Surface Transport has reacted favourably to the suggestion of the Chief Minister and has asked the State Government to submit a status report on this project. The Centre has now sought detailed proposal including projected cost, approach roads, total length of the road, and construction of tunnel, wayside facilities and steps to make it all weather road etc. The State Government has already made the details available and it is expected that the Chief Minister will personally hand over the status report to the Union Minister of Surface Transport. Estimated cost of this highway is in the neighborhood of 2500 crore rupees out of which 1800 crore rupees will have to be spent on the six kilometer long tunnel. With the making of this tunnel, the Mughal Road will qualify for the status of National Highway.
Once this road is declared National Highway, immense benefits will accrue to the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch through which this road passes maximally. It will give new life to trade and commerce of the entire region. It will be far more dependable than the existing NH-I particularly during winter months. Once the Mughal Road becomes the National Highway, link roads will also get full attention like Rajouri-Surankot link and Bufliaz-Poonch link. There is every possibility of the Union Ministry of Surface Transport reacting very favourably to the proposal.