Economy of Kashmir valley is at the mercy of National Highway Authority of India: FCIK

Srinagar: Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), has said that the economy of the valley is at the mercy of the National Highway Authority of India.

In a statement, FCIK President Mohammad Ashraf Mir said that the economy of Kashmir is on a decline thanks to highway authorities.

“The Jammu Srinagar highway the only operational road link of Kashmir valley to the rest of the world is either closed or regulated for security reasons and the movement of goods and passengers is not among the priorities of government.The Kashmir bound vehicles carrying raw material and plant/machines for the Kashmir Industry are a special category which are not allowed to move at all unless they grease the palms of beat officers of traffic department on check points,” the statement said.

The statement further added that vehicles carrying plant and machinery for Kashmir industrial units have been stopped for more than a month on the highway.

“It seems that Kashmir Valley in general and Kashmir industry in particular is meted out this treatment as if to crush the economy.The National Highway Authority of India is supposed to be an agency for improving the road connectivity of different regions but it seems they have been given the job of disrupting the connectivity to the troubled valley,” the FCIK statement pointed out.

The NH1A between Udhampur and Banihal is closed for traffic most of the times because of ignorance of National Highway Authority of India, the trade body said.

“The upgradation of this section of the highway is proving fatal for the economy of the state and it seems that proper checks have not been put in place for smooth flow of traffic to the valley. The widening that is going on is destroying the fragile ecosystem of the region which will take decades to stabilise. It seems that proper survey has not been done while planning the widening and the design adopted is faulty. The alignment is totally wrong as the debris due to widening comes straight on the operational highway which is the root cause of whole problem.Keeping in view the track record of the executing agency the upgradation of the hilly portion of NH1A may take a long time which will prove fatal for the ailing economy of J&K State.”

FCIK also mentioned that the overall economic scene of the valley is suggestive of many a things.

“The contractors are up in arms against the administration as their payments are not being released. The developmental works are languishing for want attention of Babus. The development of the ill-fated valley is restricted to filling of pot holes of the dilapidated roads.Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) while deliberating on the situation facing the state’s economy due to traffic disruption on the national highway requested the authorities to impress upon the concerned quarters to put in place a mechanism that ensures smooth flow of goods and passenger traffic to the valley.”

“FCIK is of the opinion that if proper and timely steps are not taken for the smooth movement of vehicular traffic on the national highway the situation will worsen with every passing day and may take an ugly turn.”

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