Highway restriction assault on Kashmir’s economy: JKSECC

Highway restriction assault on Kashmir’s economy: JKSECC

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Socio Economic Coordination Committee (JKSECC) – an amalgam of various trade, travel, transport, tourism, industrial, horticulture, contractors, educational, pharmaceutical, houseboat and other formations – has lambasted the state government on its latest diktat that restricts regular vehicular traffic movement on the highway and termed it as an assault on the economy and livelihood of the people of Kashmir.
In an emergency meeting of the amalgam held to discuss the “grave issue” of latest highway ban, the members, according to a statement, said the frequent restrictions on the highway during past one year on one or the other pretext had caused havoc and unimaginable losses to the business community apart from severe inconvenience to the general public including patients and tourists.
“Nowhere in the world are the people subjected to such bizarre and deplorable treatment by governments that claim to have been established for the service of the people,” the members observed, demanding immediate revocation of the “anti-people” diktat.
JKSECC said allowing vehicular traffic for just few hours besides frequent road blockades due to widening and abnormal weather is tantamount to virtual strangulation of economic activities in the valley which has brought the business community to the brink of collective bankruptcy.
“The government needs to come clean whether its moves were intentional to crush Kashmir economy as in that case the members of our business community will also use their options to be or be not in the business in such a forced unfavourable and hostile environment,” the meeting observed.
JKSECC wondered that the restrictions on highway on the pretext of paving way for “safe” travelling of Amarnath yatris is unprecedented as these yatris have been visiting the holy shrine for decades without any such diktat.
“It is the general public and not the governments who have been providing open arm welcome, comforts and hospitality to the yatris as their revered guests,” it said.
The government by attempting to make an otherwise a regular pilgrimage look like an aggression was actually making the lives of the common people uncomfortable, the amalgam said, adding that Kashmiri society strongly believes in facilitating the yatris with their cooperation and services.
“The government needs to remember that Kashmiris have laid down their lives protecting yatris from vagaries of weather during several pilgrimages,” it said.
JKSECC said it feels “highly concerned about these moves of the government designed to cause damage to the economy of Kashmir which is already on decline and cautions the powers that be to desist from such diktats”.