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J-K: Bhaderwah-Chamba Interstate Highway Being Cleared Of Snow To Facilitate Tourist Inflow

Despite accumulated snow from seven to 12 feet and half a dozen avalanches on seven kilometre Khanni Top to Padri stretch, the RandB department has deployed extra men and machinery to clear snow and debris on the 52 kilometer interstate road, which is the only second road after Lakhanpur connecting Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India.

Snowfall in Lahaul and Spiti
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Set amidst the Himalayan ranges, Bhaderwah valley, known as "mini Kashmir", is bracing for tourist footfall as the Roads and Buildings (RandB) department has pressed men and machines to clear the Bhaderwah-Chamba interstate highway of snow to reopen it for visitors by the end of April.

The step is taken to facilitate tourists coming from Himachal Pradesh with the onset of tourism season in the region besides making road trafficable for locals. Despite accumulated snow from seven to 12 feet and half a dozen avalanches on seven kilometre Khanni Top to Padri stretch, the RandB department has deployed extra men and machinery to clear snow and debris on the 52 kilometer interstate road, which is the only second road after Lakhanpur connecting Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India.

"We have set a target to reopen it before last week of April to facilitate tourist inflow from HP and Bhaderwah at famous tourist spot Padri meadow - the highest point on the road," said Mushtaq Ahmed Sheikh, AEE Chamba Road. In order to revive the tourism industry before summer vacation which is considered most conducive for tourist footfall in high altitude meadows, authorities have expedited the snow clearance work on interstate Bhaderwah-Chamba road by setting a deadline to reopen it by the end of April.

The RandB, Bhadarwah-Chamba division, has deployed extra men and machinery to clear the snow from the interstate highway to prepone the opening of the road by the end of April, which otherwise was made accessible for visitors in mid-May. The administration and the RandB department took the initiative with a view to revive the tourism industry after seeing encouraging footfall of the tourists from as early as March in Bhadarwah Valley after heavy snowfall.

Sheikh, AEE RandB BC Division Bhadarwah, along with Rizwan Wani, JE Rand B BC Division Bhadarwah, is personally monitoring the restoration work. Padri meadow, located on this road, has become the most visited destination by the tourists in the Jammu region during last couple of years.

"In view of the upcoming tourism season and keeping in view the importance of Bhaderwah-Chamba interstate road, we have deployed extra men and machinery to clear the snow and get it fit for vehicular movement," Sheikh said.

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