Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Wednesday expressed concern over the continuous closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and subsequent failure of the administration in handling the crisis, leaving thousands of people stranded on either side of the highway.
Failing to come up with an alternative to ensure availability of all essential items to people in Kashmir, the Party MPs Muhammad Akbar Lone, and Hasnain Masoodi said the Government has left people to fend for themselves. “The inordinate delay in the restoration of traffic on national highways has added to the woes of people, who were already suffering due to the heavy snowfall and administration’s poor response. The closure of the highway has triggered a crisis like situation in Kashmir and on the highway with stranded people finding it difficult to withstand bone chilling cold. Government on its part has been incoherent with its statements on the resumption of the traffic adding to the confusion and chaos,” they said.
“The unforeseen problems suffered by the stranded people on the national highway are immense. The winter chill and the unavailability of essentials have also aggravated their woes. The patients, elderly and kids are in particular undergoing predicament due to the unavailability of any mechanism to airlift them to nearby hospitals. The entire lot has been left to their own fate. Various vehicles carrying ailing and even deceased have also been left unattended. The SDRF teams, and local district administration is nowhere visible on ground throughout the entire stretch,” they said.
“As a normal during such eventualities, the government used to have alternate air lift mechanism in place. This year, it seems that the administration had no contingency plan in its response to deal with such an eventuality. Let alone coming to the rescue of stranded messengers, the government has failed to ensure basic items to people in Kashmir including essential life saving drugs to Kashmir division by other alternate means. Traditionally the administration airlifted such essentials to the valley in wake of hindrances on the Jammu –Srinagar highway. There is still time for punitive measures; the administration should gear up its men and machinery and expedite the traffic restoration on highway, utilizing other means and ways,” they said.