Highway closure order: Div Com to convene meeting today

Srinagar, Apr 4: The divisional administration has convened a high-level meeting on Friday to find “alternatives” to the ban on civilian traffic on the national highway in Kashmir.

The state government Wednesday announced that no civilian traffic would be allowed to ply on the national highway from Baramulla till Udhampur on Sundays and Wednesdays.


The move has attracted sharp criticism in the valley as it is going to be a huge inconvenience for thousands of civilians who use the road for their daily commute. .

The government has decided to convene a meeting on Friday. During this meeting, the divisional administration would seek suggestions from the district development commissioners and police officers to find out the “alternatives”.

A district development commissioner of one of the districts said that government has told them to give suggestions on how to regulate the traffic movement so there is “minimum inconvenience” to the common masses.

“Everybody is well aware that this is not a pro-people move. We will try to ensure there is minimum inconvenience to the people,” said the DC, wishing not to be quoted by name.

“The decision has been taken at the top and we can’t oppose it. We will discuss how to draw a route map so that people don’t have to suffer much,” he said.

The official added that there are also apprehensions that this move may create a “mess” in the valley.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan confirmed that he has convened the meeting on Friday.

“People should not worry. I know what to do. I will tell DCs how they have to regulate the traffic movement on those two days. Everything will be clear in tomorrow’s meeting,” the Divisional Commissioner told The Kashmir Monitor.

As per the order issued by state’s Home Department, there would be a complete ban on civilian traffic on the Highway on Sundays and Wednesdays.

This prohibition would be from Baramulla through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban till Udhampur in Jammu, the order reads.

The government has further decided that in the event of any requirement for local traffic movement for any emergency or for other purpose, the local administration and police would evolve “necessary procedures for this as is done during curfew days”.

These restrictions would remain in force till 31 May, 2019.

The government says that these directives have been issued in the backdrop of the deadly car bomb attack that took place on February 14 on a CRPF convoy in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.

Earlier, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said, “From now onwards, during convoy movement civilian vehicles would be stopped till forces’ cavalcades pass off smoothly.”

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