Killer highways: Over 55 people died in road accidents in Chenab Valley, Pir Panjal in last 3 months

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Srinagar: Killer roads have claimed over 55 lives in Kishtwar, Doda, Rajouri, Poonch, and Ramban districts in the last three months.

For the last few months, scores of road accidents have taken place in the mountainous regions of Jammu, which has devastated many families.

On Monday, four members of a family lost their lives when the vehicle they were traveling in skidded off the road and plunged into a gorge along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at Chenani in Udhampur district.

On November 16, as many as eight people were killed in a road accident in Kishtwar district. Days before three senior government officials and a driver died in Doda when their vehicle skidded off road and fell into the gorge.

Locals said the roads particularly in high-altitude areas need immediate attention from the government.

 “Scores of people die due to road accidents in Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Kishtwar, and Doda every winter. In many spots, the roads are narrow and need to be widened. Similarly, fencing and macadamization are also required to be done in higher reaches so that such incidents can be prevented,” said Abdul Ahad Malik, a resident of Poonch.

Syed Mudasir, secretary of Banihal Volunteers a local NGO, said they have deployed 70-80 volunteers in Ramban and Ramsu to aid the people during exigencies.

“We activate our boys as soon as any accident takes place. We have ropes, metal cutters, woodcutters, first-aid kits, and other supplies for rescue operations,” he said.

Mudasir said that the region has been witnessing an increase in road accidents over the last few months.

“At least 55 people have lost their lives in road accidents. We are trying to reach every spot to save lives,” he said.

Road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed an increase during the last one year. More than 713 people have been killed and 6447 others injured in 5463 road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir last year.

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