Traffic jams on highway block Amarnath Yatra
Unregistered Pilgrims Create Chaos, Confusion
Islamabad (Anantnag), July 8: Frequent traffic jams on Srinagar-Jammu Highway caused due to unprecedented rush of unregistered pilgrims and mismanagement are creating impediments for smooth conduct of annual Amarnath pilgrimage.
“Not a single day passes when the traffic is not halted on the highway. Long queues of passenger vehicles are seen caught in a heavy traffic jam at Banihal, Lower Munda, Qazigund, Mir bazaar, Khanabal, Bijhbehara, Awantipora, Pampore and PanthaChowk,” commuters told Greater Kashmir on Friday.
They said the frequent traffic snarls were hampering their routine life as they are unable to reach to their work places on time. “I am pursuing Post graduation in Islamic University and most of the time our bus is caught in a traffic jam for hours together,” said Mehak Jan, of Islamabad town.
“Ambulances ferrying emergency patients also bear the brunt of heavy traffic jams on the highway resulting in the loss of precious lives,” locals said.
The tourists, who have been coming to Kashmir valley in large numbers after 3-years of violent summers, too are facing the brunt of yatra mismanagement.
“It has been a week since when we arrived in Srinagar. Though we left from here twice to visit the scenic spots in south Kashmir like Pahalgam, Kokernag and Aharabal but then we were caught in a traffic jam on both the occasions and were forced to return from Pampore only,” said a tourist from Pune, Sushil Bagwe.
He said that he has been to every state of India but has never come across such a poor traffic scenario.
The Yatris too are also fuming over the mismanagement of the administration in ensuring the hassle free Yatra. “I boarded a flight at Surat and in barely three hours I was at Srinagar Airport but then it took me more than 6 hours to reach Pahalgam due to heavy traffic jams at many places,” said a pilgrim from Gujrat, Pinky Patel.
Sources in the Traffic Department said the unprecedented rush of the unregistered pilgrims is responsible for the entire mess on the highway.
“The government has only been issuing appeals against the unregistered pilgrims but it has not been able to rein them in,” they said.
“Pilgrims, common man and tourists are suffering badly due to the lack of coordination between various governmental agencies managing the annual pilgrimage,” sources added.
They said that even though the Amarnath yatra usually gets suspended due to inclement weather conditions, on Sunday the unprecedented rush of pilgrims especially the unregistered ones led to the suspension of the yatra.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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