SRINAGAR: The government on Friday sealed Boulevard Road with barricades and barbed wire ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day Jammu and Kashmir visit, leaving commuters stranded in many places.
The roads were sealed at many places including Nishat and CRPF Inspector General office near Brein, without any prior information or announcement to commuters from the administration.
Police and CRPF personnel were placed at these blockade points to stop traffic movement towards Dalgate and Lal Chowk, prompting employees, students and labourers to turn back. Similarly, vehicles were not allowed to move from Dalgate towards Chashm-e-Shahi, Brein and Nishat.
Students were seen pleading before the officials to allow them through as they had exams to attend. Families of patients admitted in different hospitals were also requesting the officials to let them pass.
“We have orders not to allow vehicles from beyond this point because of security reasons,” a police officer at one of the barricades said.
People were asked to take alternative routes form Foreshore Road to Dargah Hazratbal and from there to Lal Chowk and Dalgate via downtown Srinagar.
Accusing the administration of mismanagement, people said that the government could have announced the changed traffic plan earlier, so that they could have planned their day accordingly.
“Every time any central government minister, a delegation or even a Bollywood singer has to visit Centaur Hotel or SKICC (Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre) at Boulevard, they close the roads, and we have to suffer unnecessarily,” said Sheikh Riyaz, a private sector employee.
“Now they want me to go all the way from Brein to Foreshore Road to Dargah and from there to cross through downtown to Lal Chowk. It will take me half a day to reach my office. This is nonsense,” Riyaz said.