No vehicle allowed to leave Srinagar or Jammu

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Thousands of people, including women, children are stranded at Jammu after traffic police in a sudden announcement said that no vehicle will be allowed to leave Jammu or Srinagar today.

Chief Engineer Beacon said the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway has cleared as there was absolutely no problem.

The weather is also clear and there is no report of any fresh landslides or snowfall, he told to the sources. Thousands of people, a majority of them from Delhi and other parts of the country, are stranded at Jammu after they were not allowed to proceed towards Srinagar this morning by the traffic police officials.

The stranded passengers said due to one-way traffic after the highway reopened after remaining closed for six days last week, they had to delay their departure from Delhi by one day so that they could travel direct to Srinagar today. After reaching Jammu, the traffic police official said that no vehicle will be allowed to leave from Jammu and Srinagar today. ''We are shocked as we have no money to stay in Jammu,'' the passengers said.

The passengers contested the traffic police claim that vehicles stranded on the highway are being cleared today. ''How the vehicles got stranded when there was one-way traffic,'' the passengers asked and alleged that traffic police officials posted on the highway are allowing trucks and other vehicles after receiving ''bribe'' from both sides, leading to traffic jams.

An agitated woman passenger told to the sources over phone from Jammu that the traffic police officials have taken people for granted by closing the highway as and when they wish.

She criticised the state government for failing to take the officials responsible for this chaos and confusion to task. ''We have no money to stay in hotels,'' she said.

Traffic police officials said it was decided to clear the stranded vehicles before allowing fresh traffic from Jammu or Srinagar. They said road was also being maintained at some places.

However, they failed to clarify how the vehicles got stranded when there was one-way traffic on the highway for the past one week.

Chief Engineer Beacon told UNI that road was absolutely clear and there was no report of any damage to the highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.

''I do not know why the traffic has been stopped from Srinagar and Jammu,'' he said adding there is no problem on our side.

This is not for the first time that thousands of people were pushed to the wall after the highway was closed for unknown reasons by the traffic police. In the past people had to pay a heavy price because of road closure.


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