Srinagar, Feb 11: The Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for the sixth consecutive day on Monday, stranding hundreds of vehicles and creating a crisis of essential supplies in the Kashmir Valley.
“Even as hectic landslide clearance operation was on in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector, a massive landslide hit the highway at Marog on Sunday, delaying the opening of the highway,” a traffic department official said.
Unless this is cleared, no traffic will be allowed, he added.
Over 3,000 vehicles are stranded along the nearly 300-kilometre long road for the last six days. Many stranded vehicles are carrying essential supplies for the landlocked valley. Due to the non-availability of essentials a crisis situation has arisen there.
In addition to severe shortages of edibles like vegetables, poultry products, mutton, there is shortage of petroleum products as well.
Authorities were forced to order rationing of petroleum products till the supply position improves. Airfare between the valley and outside has skyrocketed after the closure of the highway on February 6, with series of avalanches hitting Jammu and Kashmir in various spots.
Scores of valley-bound people stranded have started running short of money due to the unforeseen severing of road links.
Those stranded have demanded special air sorties so that they can reach the valley.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, IGP Jammu M K Sinha, IGP Traffic Alok Kumar along with Director NHW Authority on Monday visited the site of the massive slide on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Maroog in district Ramban to personally oversee the clearance operation so that the highway is reopened for the traffic at an earliest.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma said, “Road clearance operation is going apace. I along with IGP Jammu, IGP Traffic and other higher authorities are personally supervising the road clearance operation at Ramban and it would take few hours more to clear the road blocks and landslides on the vulnerable stretches between Banihal to Ramban and Ramban to Ramsoo.”
The traffic is likely to be restored by Monday evening or Tuesday morning, he said, adding that “we have ferried some of the passenger to accessible destinations where from they can proceed to Srinagar to reach their homes safely
Our natural routes closed, made dependent on artificial highway: Mirwaiz
Srinagar, Feb 11: Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has expressed deep concern about the fate of people stranded on highways, roads and airports because of inclement weather and asked Kashmiris’ to help each other in this hour of crisis. Taking to micro-blogging site twitter Mirwaiz 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. There is no support in place for them from those who rule this place and they are left to fend for themselves,” he said. Mirwaiz further said that 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.”