Locals, NC Criticise Bi-Weekly Ban on Jammu-Srinagar Highway

The two-days-per-week ban on movement of civilian vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar highway came into effect on 7 April.

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The bi-weekly ban on civilian traffic along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway may have made troop movements safer but it has come at a cost for the locals.

The two-days-per-week ban on the movement of civilian vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar national highway came into effect on Sunday, 7 April, for facilitating the safe passage of security convoys.
“They said that tomorrow, no car except military vehicles would be allowed. This is the first time such an order has been implemented. This should be cancelled. We will starve because of this.”
Nazir Ahmad, Driver

Following the Pulwama terror attack that took place on 14 February, the government decided to reserve the 250-km highway on Wednesdays and Sundays till 31 May 2019.

“The highway shouldn’t be closed [for civilian traffic]. I have a family to feed at home. I have to get food and other essentials for them every day. It should be reopened.”
Liyaqat Hussain, Bus Conductor

Former Army chief Ved Prakash Malik took to Twitter on Wednesday, 10 April, to denounce the two-days-a-week closure of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, calling it a “dumb idea”.

The move has also drawn criticism from regional political parties, including the National Conference. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called the closure ‘mindless’.

(With inputs from Aijaz Khan, Srinagar)

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