Highway closure: KCCI demands revocation of order

Srinagar, April 4: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday demanded the revocation of Union government’s order to ban the movement of civilian traffic on National Highway (NH) from Udhampur to Baramulla for two days in a week

Addressing media persons at chamber office, president KCCI Sheikh Ashiq said that the order has been issued without taking its impact into consideration.

“The order indicates lack of awareness of local problems. At a time when we are raising the issue of lack of alternative routes and means of travel to Kashmir, the closure of the only available road link would put the whole population to tremendous inconveniences. Its continuation would be disastrous for State’s economy also,” he said.

“Kashmir Valley has limited access. We do not have rail link or any means of water transport. Even the air travel is out of bounds due to the wrong policies adapted by the civil aviation ministry. With huge fares and heavy movement of security personnel from the civilian airport, not many can avail this option,” he added

Ashiq said that travelling on NHW has already become a nightmare, as only necessary and unavoidable traffic movement is being conducted.

“Banning vehicular traffic on given days would further escalate chaos and confusion. It will also impede the movement of vehicles carrying goods including essentials like sheep, poultry, etc. Besides, it will result in increase in transportation and air fares also,” he said.

Referring to the past elections, he said that people have been facing paranoia and panic ahead of parliamentary elections.

“It is unprecedented. The state needs to deal with the situation without encroaching on the rights of the public,” he said.

Referring to the ailing tourism sector, Sheikh said that the order will also affect the flow of tourists to the state.

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