Srinagar, Nov 13: No traffic was allowed on Srinagar-Jammu highway on Friday due to maintenance of the only road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
Meanwhile, the Met department has issued a forecast for rain and snow during the next 48 hours in Jammu and Kashmir which could affect air and surface traffic. As already reported authorities have put in place all necessary arrangements, including Disaster Management Centres (DMC) at different places on the Srinagar-Jammu highway to accommodate passengers and truckers in case the road is closed due to landslides, shooting stones and snow in winter.However, the highway connecting Ladakh with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road, seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway, are through for traffic.
The Jammu & Kashmir Government has ordered closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway on every Friday till November 30 to allow agencies, responsible for the maintenance and widening of the highway, to undertake necessary work for smooth plying of vehicles during winter. The government issued the order in view of frequent closure of the highway for days, leading to delay in transporting fruit from here to different mandis of the country. Similary, road closure also was leading to shortage and price rise of essentials, particularly vegetables in the valley. The fruit growers, who had met Lt Governor, his advisors and senior traffic police officials, alleged that fruit trucks are being stopped for several days on the highway thus causing them huge losses.
A traffic police official said that no traffic was allowed on the highway from both sides. No security force vehicle will be allowed to ply on Friday the highway today, he said.
An official spokesman said that Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan took stock of the preparedness of Disaster Management Centres (DMCs) along National highway from Lawdoora to Jawahar Tunnel ahead of winter on Thursday. The District Development Commissioner (DDC) Anantnag, KK Sidha briefed the Advisor regarding the facilities, including accommodation, bedding, mobile toilets, healthcare, power supply, heating arrangements, ration, baby foods and other essentials being made available at disaster management centres for the upcoming winter along National Highway from Lawdoora to Jawahar Tunnel for the stranded passengers. He added that each of these centres has the capacity for accommodation of 200 people.
Applauding the efforts of district Administration, the advisor said that Government has put a special thrust on building such structures along the highway with all modern facilities for the benefit of the General Public who are usually stranded during unfavourable weather, rains and snow. He directed the concerned authorities for dovetailing of resources including SDRF, police and volunteers besides ensuring round the clock healthcare facilities to the stranded passengers and installing sign-ages and sign boards for the ease of passengers. However, he said, traffic was plying on Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. But, he said, vehicles had to ply between 1100 hrs to 1600 hrs. Traffic was also plying on Srinagar-Leh highway though temperature has witnessed drop, particularly at Zojila and Meenmarg.