Four times more trucks plying on Jammu-Srinagar highway: Home Secretary

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New Delhi, Aug 18 : As pitch of the separatist protests and sloganeering reaches feverish pitch in the Valley, Indian government today said that the situation is fast returning to normal and the so called economic blockade of highway to Srinagar which is the rallying point for the separatists protests in the valley is no more prevalent.

In fact, the Government said that there were some obstructions initially but the number of trucks plying on the highway has risen manifold.

Union Home secretary Madhukar Gupta told reporters that highway is moving 'regularly and freely'.

Giving the number of trucks plying on the highway, Gupta said: "From 8 p.m. on August17 to 8 a.m. on August 18, 480 trucks carrying various commodities like meat, LPG tankers and essential products traveled from Jammu to Srinagar.

He added that 550 trucks plied from Srinagar to Jammu out of which 415 trucks were carrying fruits.

On a normal day nearly 100-150 trucks ply on both of these busy routes and local authorities say that may be because of the backlog such heavy movement of trucks is witnessed.

Meanwhile New Delhi has once again reiterated its willingness to open up the trade route between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Ravlakote, which was taken by India in composite Dialogue with Pakistan in July 2005.

India also blamed Pakistan for creating obstacles in opening of trade route by insisting on procedural issues.

Reacting sharply on separatists march to the UN office in Srinagar today and Pakistan's attempt to internationalise the issue, Gupta said: "Jammu and Kashmir is not an international issue, it is an internal issue but unfortunately Pakistan and people with secessionist tendencies have unfortunately tried to internationalise this issue and there is no doubt that it is our internal issue." by Naveen Kapoor

ANI

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