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Baramulla waiting for 'B-day'

By Tejinder Sodhi in Baramulla
Last updated on: March 26, 2005 16:43 IST
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Mehman Nawazi aur bhaichara kashmiriat ki shaan hai,
Hukumat aur Awam miljul kar Bus Chalaynge
Srinagar se Muzaffarabad Tak nayee Umang Jaygan Ge

Hospitality and brotherhood are symbols of Kashmiriyat
We will run the bus of friendship with the government
And take a wave of happiness from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad

The translation neither captures the rhythm nor the rhyme of those lines, but the sentiment is clear -- Baramulla is waiting eagerly for the inaugural Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus on April 7 and 'unite' the two Kashmirs.

Bus to Muzaffarabad from Apr 7 | Bus to nowhere

And this just one of the several slogans on big hoardings now ready to welcome the guests from across the border.

Reports say repair work on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road on the Indian side is nearing completion and the authorities are now working to beautify the stretch.

'Muzaffarabad trip is my last wish'

"We will make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience...the whole area will be decorated like a bride when the bus service starts," said Ghulam Qadir, an officer of the state-run roads and building department.

Bussing the peace process

The Indian Army, which played a major role in de-mining the road, is providing a helping hand in beautifying the 130 km stretch from Srinagar to Kaman Post.

The state government is also planning to erect some hoardings along the road conveying the message of peace.

Hundreds of painters have been deployed on the stretch, busy beautifying the road. They have been painting walls and rooftops of establishments by the road.

Kashmir bus safe from militants: Army

Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat, a painter, said, "This bus service is really a boost for us as it has generated employment opportunities for hundred of people like me who remain without work for months all together."

The general public in Baramulla is also happy with all the development work going on in the township in view of the proposed bus service.

"It's good for us. The development that has taken place in the few days since work began has been seen in the last fifty odd years," said Ghulam Qadir Mir, a shopkeeper in Baramulla, whose shop was also painted green.

Also read:

'Hurriyat men can board bus'
Bus will aid militancy: RSS

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Tejinder Sodhi in Baramulla