Highway ban disrupts life in J&K

  1. The first day of closure of the 271-km Baramulla-Udhampur national highway for civilian traffic has disrupted the distribution of essentials and halted all passenger services.
  2. The Jammu and Kashmir administration and Centre had announced that the national highway from Baramulla to Udhampur will be put out of bounds for civilian traffic on Sundays and Wednesdays till May 31.No civilian traffic would be allowed during the movement of the paramilitary forces.
  3. The ban on the civilian traffic will be in force for the two days — Sunday and Wednesday — from 4 am to 5 pm till May 31.It will be effective from Baramulla to Udhampur through Srinagar,Qazigund,Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban.
  4. The government has cited the recent suicide bombing of a security forces convoy in Pulwama which killed 40 CRPF personnel as the reason for temporarily blocking part of the highway.Further,the decision was also made in view of the upcoming lok sabha elections.
  5. However,the restriction on civilian traffic during military convoy movement has drawn ire from several quarters with political parties in J&K asking for the order to be revoked immediately.
  6. The Jammu-Srinagar-Uri national highway(NH-1A) runs 370 km.The national highway is not just the only road link that connects Kashmir to the outside world but also the key highway that connects Srinagar with the southern and northern districts of the Valley.The highway passes through five of the 10 districts of the Valley.