Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement on Monday accused the ruling National Conference of "ignoring Kargil and denying the area its right because of political reasons and difficult topography."
The statement said that PDP leaders led by Altaf Bukhari and party chief spokesperson Naeem Akhter went on an extensive tour to Kargil district.
While terming Zojilla tunnel a vital component of inter-connectivity that will usher better economic opportunities for the people of this region, party senior leader Altaf Bukhari claimed that it was during the PDP’s brief tenure that the tunnel was sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Program.
He said the decision to build the tunnel in Kargil is part of the Prime Minister’s package of 2004 in which special care was taken for the people of Ladakh more importantly four-laning of Srinagar-Ladakh national Highway and the Zojilla tunnel that would provide all weather connectivity between the region and rest of the country.
Bukhari said the work on the tunnel should be taken up both from Gumri, Minmarag and Gagangir ends. He said there was a need also to make it mandatory for the executing agencies to give priority to local labor both for skilled and non skilled jobs.
Referring to the India-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ meet that decided to reopen Kargil Skardu traditional road, Bukhari said that it has been more than a year now when it was decided by the two countries to start a bus service on this road but unfortunately the decision is yet to be implemented on the ground. “The PDP will agitate the matter both on public level and at administrative level with the Prime Minister,” Bukhari stressed.
Speaking on the occasion, Naeem Akhter, PDP chief spokesperson observed that Kargil has not been exploited in last many decades for its vast tourism potential. Akhter said Kargil has an extensive tourism potential, especially adventure tourism-trekking, mountain biking, river rafting and a host of other such activities.
“In addition, there are number of routes suitable for high altitude Jeep Safaris. The exploitation of these depends on open circuits with several contingencies and shorter access routes, which are cut off by the border as of now. The PDP envisions removing all these bottlenecks by creating a conducive atmosphere in Kargil, Drass, Zuru Valley, Zanskar, for such tourism activities which so far have been never touched due to mal administration and bad governance of National Conference,” the PDP chief spokesperson remarked.