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JK: Traffic on highway remains suspended for 7th day

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Feb 27: Traffic on the 300-long-Srinagar Jammu national highway remained closed for the 7th day today due to landslides and shooting stones, leading to price rise in essential commodities due to shortage in supply.

A traffic police official said the highway was reopened last evening after the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) partially repaired the damaged portion of the road at Penthal. However, due to fresh landslides and shooting stones, triggered by heavy rains in the area, traffic was again suspended.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Traffic Police Mohammad Amin Shah said about 450 trucks loaded with the essential commodities crossed Penthal last night before the highway was blocked again.

He said it was again raining this morning in the area causing more landslides.

The official said that BRO, responsible for the maintenance of the highway which is the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, has pressed into service hundreds of men and machines to make the highway traffic worthy again.

The authorities have already announced the closure of the highway keeping inview the intensity of the damage caused to the road. They have advised the passengers to contact traffic control rooms set up in Jammu and Srinagar before undertaking the journey on the highway.

However, hundreds of passengers, mostly men, who were stranded at different places on the highway since it was closed on February 21, crossed Penthal on foot through alternative hilly terrain. However, woman, children and elderly persons stayed back.

The authorities have made bus arrangements from here for the passengers who have reached Banihal.

The stranded passengers, who held protest demonstrations against the government, alleged that no relief was being provided to them.

They said during the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government, free air travel was arranged for the stranded passengers when similar situation arised in 2003.

The closure of the highway has led to shortage of the essential commodities, including meat, eggs, chicken and fresh vegetables.

However, those having stock of the essential commodities are selling them on very high rates to selected customers only.


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