HOME MINISTER VISIT: Security arrangements create traffic chaos in city

HOME MINISTER VISIT: Security arrangements create traffic chaos in city
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Boulevard Road sealed without advance announcement

SHEIKH UZAIR

SRINAGAR: Authorities on Thursday sealed Boulevard road with barricades and barbed wires as part of security arrangements, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The traffic in uptown also came to a halt as roads leading to Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Stadium Complex at Wazir Bagh were sealed as the Home Minister was scheduled to attend the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Conclave 2018 organised by the state sports council.
Police and CRPF personnel barred traffic from moving towards SKICC forcing commuters travelling to Dalgate and Lalchowk to return.
The roads were sealed at many places including Nishat and Brein without any advance announcement from administration.
“We have orders not to allow vehicles leading to SKICC and Indoor Stadium because of security arrangements for Home ministers visit,” a police officer at one of the barricades told Kashmir Reader.
Commuters from Nishat and areas along the Dal Lake were told to take alternative routes through Foreshore Road to Dargah and from there to Lal Chowk. Since all the traffic was directed towards Dargah Hazratbal, massive traffic jams were reported from areas leading to the city centre from downtown.
Stuck commuters accused the administration of ‘mismanagement’ and questioned why the government had not issued a traffic advisory in advance.
“This is the second time in a month we have to face such this problem. First, when Prime Minister visited, and now Home Minister Rajanth Singh. Even when a Bollywood singer has to visit Centaur Hotel or SKICC at Boulevard they close the roads and we have to suffer unnecessarily,” said Rayees Ahmad, who runs a shop in Lal Chowk.
Eyewitnesses said government forces were also checking vehicles at Rambagh intersection before allowing them to pass leading to a massive traffic jam. The traffic chaos soon spread to adjoining areas of Gogji Bagh, Jawahar Nagar, Rambagh and Lasjan.
With restrictions at many places and people trying to find alternative routes, and because of shopping rush in view of Jumat-ul-vida and Eid-ul-fitr, huge traffic snarls build up at Lal Chowk, Jahangir Chowk, Amira Kadal, Hari Singh High street and Batamaloo.
Most of the traffic jams was witnessed during the peak hours of morning and evening.

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