Loran-Tangmarg road can connect central, north Kashmir with Poonch

Baramulla, Feb 17: As there is an emphasis on boosting the road infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir and reducing the distance between the different regions of the union territory, the residents of Poonch and Tangmarg have pinned hopes on the economic and social amalgam of the two regions through Loran-Tangmarg road.

The Loran-Tangmarg road is just a 41-km stretch which, if completed, could connect north Kashmir’s Baramulla district with the Poonch area of Pir Panjal region.

The road connectivity would reduce the distance between Poonch and north Kashmir’s Baramulla district by 159 km.

Unlike Mughal Road which, by and large, remains closed for 5 months during the winter, the Tangmarg-Loran Poonch road would remain accessible throughout the year, making it an appropriate alternate route to the region.

The Loran village is located in the Mandi tehsil of the Poonch district and is just 35 km from the Poonch town.

In 2015, the then Jammu and Kashmir government started work on the Loran-Tangmarg road.

The work on the 41-km road was given to the Border Road Organisation (BRO).

After completing a 16-km road stretch from Loran, Poonch side, the work on the road was stopped without disclosing any reason.

Mushtaq Ahmad, a social activist from Tangmarg, who has travelled from Tangmarg to Loran, Poonch several times on foot and has several relatives settled on the other side of the Pir Panjal mountains in Loran village said that the road, if completed, has potential to change the economic landscape of the region.

He said that the Tangmarg-Loran Poonch road also passes through the mountain of Tosa Maidan in Budgam district.

Ahmad said it was because of this geographical accessibility that helped the people living on either side to have relations with each other.

“People living on the other side of the mountains share the same culture and heritage,” he said. “Scores of women from Poonch are married in the areas of Budgam and Tangmarg area. They share the same bond and ethos. This is the reason that people of this area are keen to see a revival of this medieval link between the Poonch, north, and central Kashmir.”

Advocating for the revival of this ancient route, Ahmad said that the Loran-Tangmarg road connectivity would explore the hidden beauty of the area and the area would emerge as a new tourist destination which eventually would change the economic fortunes of both Poonch, central Kashmir and north Kashmir’s Tangmarg area.

“There are several unexplored lakes like Bandsar, Damamsar, and Gadator lakes in the region,” he said. “Besides, the meadows spread over a vast area en route to the Loran Poonch can leave an unending impact on the visitors.”

Farooq Ahmad of Loran, Poonch, while sharing similar sentiments said that people from Mandi tehsil including the Loran village has a huge population of Kashmiri-speaking people.

He said scores of families in Mandi tehsil have relatives in Budgam and Tangmarg area of central and north Kashmir.

Farooq said that the road connectivity would be a huge relief to the divided people of the two regions and would further boost the economic opportunity of the people of the two sides.

“Loran area of Poonch has tremendous tourism potential and is also known as mini Kashmir. There has been no effort to date to explore the hidden potential of this area. We hope the present dispensation pays attention towards this unexplored area of the region too,” he said.

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