The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is shut for traffic once again. Today it was the fifth consecutive day when the highway was closed in wake of the heavy snowfall that wreaked havoc across Kashmir.
The closure of the 260 kilometre-long highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country leads to a crisis like situation in the region as most of the supplies have to pass through this arterial highway only.
Since the past five days the valley has got no supply of fuel, medicines, fruits and vegetable s and of course other essentials. Though the closure for five days won’t matter much but the issue becoming a routine is a cause for concern.
Earlier the highway used to offer trouble for the commuters at few places only and the sectors that were creating problems were Ramban and some other spots but of late the highway is turning vulnerable at many places including Samrolli, Nashree, Cafeteria Morh, Seri, Marog and Jawahar Tunnel.
The highway has been troubling everybody from the past many years now. From an average commuter to transporters everybody has been hit badly by the prolonged periods of closure of the highway.
The most affected are the stranded passengers in Jammu and Srinagar who face virtual starvation when the road closes and they have nowhere to go.
Closure of the Jammu-Srinagar Highway is becoming a new normal now. The highway has been giving trouble to the commuters since long now. However, what is worrying is the callous attitude of the present government in providing a plan B which could have eased the miseries the people face due to the closure of the road.
The winter months prove to be the most disturbing as far as the status of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway is concerned. The highway remains closed for most part of the time and things may not see any improvement in near future if our planners move at the same pace and plan.
People have been narrating harrowing tales once they get stuck on the highway. Even today more than 4000 vehicles mostly truckers have been left stranded on the highway and not only do the commodities they carry rot during the blockade period but they also loose lot of time in delivering their consignments.
This means a great loss for the truckers and the traders who despite paying in advance end up getting rotten supplies and that too delayed.
The condition of the highway has been going from bad to worse since the past five years now. The average travel time has not only increased over the years but the situation is witnessing no change as authorities are failing to address the concerns of the common man who gets hit badly once the highway closes.
The closure of the highway for most part of the winter also plays its role in damaging the region’s economy as well and this has been happening for quite long now.