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Peace bus to be back on road soon

Last updated on: November 09, 2005 21:13 IST
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Hopes of early resumption of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service brightened up when Pakistan-occupied Kashmir authorities informed on Wednesday that the Chakothi-Kaman Post stretch of the Jhelum valley road will be made operational within two to three days.

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"The Chakothi-Opi Bridge stretch of the road will be made operational in about two to three days... It was completely damaged in the catastrophic October 8 earthquake," PoK Relief Commissioner Shafiq Ahmed Kiani said while India and Pakistan exchanged relief supplies at the Kaman Post, the second crossing opened by the two countries.

Kiani said trucks, which were being used to load the supplies, were parked about a kilometre away from the relief point as the road was not fit for vehicular traffic.

Hence, porters had to be pressed into the service to carry the packets, he added.

The complete 172-km-long Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road will be operational for the movement of cross-border bus, launched on April 7 this year, in a couple of days.

However, the damaged 'Aman Setu' (Peace Bridge), which links the divided Jammu and Kashmir, will take another two or three months to be repaired.

The Pakistanis call the Kaman Bridge as Opi Bridge.

The last Karvaan-e-Aman (Caravan of Peace) ferried passengers on October 6, two days before the quake, in which thousands of people were killed and millions rendered homeless in Jammu and Kashmir and PoK.

India and Pakistan rewrote history on Wednesday when they opened the 742-km-long Line of Control at 'Aman Setu' in Kaman Post after years of hostility to exchange relief material for survivors of the catastrophic earthquake.

The destruction was so massive in PoK that the exchange could only take place near the Aman Setu on the Indian side.

There were no civilians present when the exchange of relief took place.

Kaman Post is the second point to be opened for divided families to cross and ferry relief, and reconstruction material across the LoC, as part of the bilateral agreement to open the LoC at five points.

The relief point at Teethwal in Tangdhar will be made operational on November 12.

The work on other two points -- Hajipur-Uri and Tattapani- Mendhar -- is going on, but they will be opened only on popular demand.

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Source: source