Vehicles from Jammu still not allowed towards Srinagar
Srinagar: The vital Srinagar-Jammu national highway was opened after four days on Thursday to clear vehicles stranded along the road since it was shut on Monday.
“The highway has been restored for stranded vehicles only. Vehicles from Jammu would not be allowed to proceed towards Srinagar at the moment,” a senior traffic department officer said.
The arterial road – the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of India – was briefly re-opened for traffic on Tuesday but had to be closed again due to landslides.
Hundreds of passengers remain stranded at various points along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Traffic authorities said that fresh landslides occurred at two places near Udhampur on Thursday. SSP Traffic (Rural) Ajaj Ahmad Bhat told Kashmir Reader that on Wednesday landslides were cleared at Kheri-Passi and Kelamorh, but fresh landslides hit the highway at the same spots today.
“We cleared yesterday’s landslides but today, two landsides hit the same places, soon after we cleared the previous ones. No vehicle was allowed to proceed in either direction,” Bhat said.
He said that three machines were at work to clear the landslides. “We expect the road to be cleared by Friday afternoon,” he said.
Hundreds of passengers to Kashmir are stranded at Jammu. They have been spending their days and nights under open sky. In a two-minute video, which went viral on social media today, a stranded person claimed that the government has failed to provide any kind of assistance. “There are no facilities for the people who have been waiting for the reopening of the national highway at Jammu,” the person is heard saying in the video. He adds, “We have made arrangements of food for 500 people and pitched three tents.”
The person alleged that if Amarnath pilgrims had been stranded so, the government would have provided them all kinds of facilities. “The government would have sent choppers for their rescue,” he says.
“There are many people here who are not feeling well, and don’t have money to buy medicines,” he says in the video.
The opposition National Conference on Thursday demanded immediate airlifting of stranded passengers in Jammu. In a press statement, the party’s general secretary, Ali Mohammed Sagar, expressed concern at the neglect of passengers stranded in Jammu. “Many of the stranded passengers are in a miserable plight at Jammu Bus Stand, Railway Station and elsewhere, and there has been little effort by the administration in reaching out to them,” Sagar said.
Sagar said in his statement that he has taken up the issue with Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri. He said that the government should have airlifted the stranded passengers. He said that the minister has assured him that he will personally look into the matter and take all necessary measures for mitigating the sufferings of the stranded people.
Sagar said he hoped the government would rise to the occasion and come to the rescue of the people in distress. He urged the minister to ensure lodging and other facilities to those stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.