Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu-Kashmir highway remains closed for third consecutive day

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Srinagar: The Jammu-Kashmir highway remained closed for the third consecutive day on Friday following multiple landslides and fresh snowfall, a traffic department official stated, according to an IANS report.

“There have been landslides at some places along the Ramsoo-Ramban stretch of the highway due to heavy rain in the area, while fresh snowfall occurred in Banihal. The highway will remain closed till the landslide debris and accumulated snow is completely cleared,’ the official was quoted as having said.

According to the official, a clearance operation is likely to begin later in the day as the weather office has forecast an improvement in the weather conditions, the report said.

Quoting reports, IANS reported that over 17,00 vehicles, including trucks loaded with essential commodities and light motor vehicles carrying passengers to the Kashmir Valley, are stranded at various places on the highway.

Earlier, the highway had been closed for six consecutive days until February 12, leading to an acute shortage of stock essentials like edibles and petroleum products in the Valley.

ALSO READ: Highway closure: ‘Out of money’, 45 Kashmiri students stranded in Jammu crying for help

Some locals living along the highway, especially those belonging to the Sikh community, are distributing free ‘langar’ for the stranded people.

Earlier, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman of the Hurriyat (M) had said that the due to the closure of ‘natural routes of JK, people have been forced to depend on the ‘artificial Srinagar-Jammu highway’ which mostly remains closed due to adverse weather.

In a tweet, Mirwaiz had said, ” Tens of thousands of Kashmiri’s are stranded in Jammu for past one week as the Srinagar Jammu highway is closed and few flights are operating on this sector. People are facing tremendous hardship as their recourses to support themselves are drying up and they are stranded. Their is no support in place for them from those who rule this place and they are left to fend for themselves.”

He added, “No additional flights or accommodation and food till they reach home is provided. It is incumbent upon those who have blocked our natural routes to outside world and made us solely dependent on this artificial route (Jammu Srinagar highway) mostly closed in winter due to weather vagaries, to take responsibility of the dire consequences that people of Kashmir have to face and at least provide them with relief and help till they reach home.”

ALSO READ: Sikh Samaritans of Jammu: ‘We won’t let anyone harass our Kashmiri brethren’

Tensions were abound further after a video of college students of Jammu pelting stones at the stranded passengers circulated on social media. The incident took place at the Auqaf building in Jammu where the stranded passengers were staying.

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