The authorities in Kashmir Monday ordered the partial opening of Mughal Road -- the alternate road connecting the valley with the rest of the country -- for transportation of fruit produce to markets outside the union territory.
"It is hereby notified for information of general public/fruit growers that the Mughal road is hereby declared open for downward vehicular traffic exclusively for transportation of fresh fruits viz-a-viz Cherry, Peach, Plum, Apricot to outside State w.e.f. 16.06.2020," an order issued by divisional commissioner Kashmir, K Pandurang Pole said.
However, the order stated there would be no passenger vehicular movement on the road and the timing of the movement of trucks would be from 11am to 4pm only.
"It shall be ensured that vehicles should be preferably 4x4 or mechanically sound and vehicles should not be overloaded and should carry load as per permissible tonnage. Drivers driving the vehicles shall be experienced and familiar with the said hilly road. Each vehicle shall have one driver and a conductor only," the order said.
The divisional commissioner Kashmir also ordered the district administration Shopian to establish a health checkup centre on the road.
The order said the district authorities would also consider weather advisory on a daily-basis before allowing the traffic movement, while all advisories regarding mitigation of COVID-19 would also be adhered to in letter and spirit.
The Mughal Road -- the 84-km mountainous road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir's Shopian -- remains closed for traffic for four-five months every year due to accumulation of snow.
The work on the construction of the historic road, which was used by Mughal kings to reach Kashmir and is thus named after them, started in 2005 and was completed in December 2008.