Demanding construction of Sadna tunnel, scores of residents from Karnah area of Kupwara district Thursday staged a protest against the government on the third consecutive day at Press Enclave here.
Protestors were shouting slogans against the government for failing to construct the much awaited six-kilometer tunnel in the area. The agitated residents threatened to boycott upcoming Lok Sabha elections if their demands weren’t fulfilled.
Khushal Amin, a local resident told Rising Kashmir that they were facing many issues. “The tunnel will ease the distance of 60 kilometers into just 6 kilometers,” he said. He said if the demands will not be fulfilled they will boycott the upcoming elections in the state. “No one among us will cast vote in upcoming Lok Sabha elections if they (government) will not construct the tunnel in the area,” Amin said.
“Due to the absence of the tunnel which people are suffering from tremendous problems. The construction of tunnel was promised by successive governments but things remain unchanged on the ground,” he said. Protesters accused the government of ignoring their demand for construction of 6.12-km tunnel at Sadhna Top that will provide all-weather connectivity to Tangdhar. At present, the avalanche-prone road remains closed for most of the winter months because of snow.
Muhammad Maqbool said if tunnel would be constructed there it will solve many problems in the area and would ease connectivity during the harsh winters.
“We are going to boycott upcoming parliamentary election if the tunnel is not built. Because of the negligence of the authorities we have been losing lives,” he said.
He said the area remains disconnected for several months during winters causing immense hardships to the people of the area. Both state and central governments for ignoring their demands, Maqbool said.
Last week, three persons died after they were caught in a snow blizzard near Khooni Nallah, Sadhna Top. The five persons were walking from Kupwara to Karnah—the road was closed for vehicular traffic due to bad weather—when the blizzard hit them.