16 years on, shelter sheds near Jawahar Tunnel still defunct
Stranded passengers continue to face weather vagaries
Islamabad (Anantnag), Jan 23: Signifying messy state of affairs, the State Government has failed to utilize the shelter sheds for stranded passengers on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway.
The shelters were constructed on war footing during the Governor’s rule in 1995, when a snow avalanche claimed lives of 70 stranded passengers in Lower Munda along the Highway.
The shelters were meant for providing safe accommodation to the stranded passengers in case of sudden road blockade due to snowfall or landslides.
“However, the shelters were never utilized while the stranded passengers faced immense inconvenience due to highway blockade,” the residents of Lower Munda said.
They said that out of the three shelters constructed on this side of the Tunnel, one of the shelter has been occupied by the paramilitary CRPF.
“The other shelter is under the illegal occupation of a local who enjoys political patronage and the third is being used as a first aid centre by the administration,” they said.
They said the shelter located at famous scenic spot Titatic Point in Lower Munda can accommodate more than 300 passengers.
The truck drivers say that the locals of Lower Munda and adjoining areas have always exhibited hospitality to stranded passengers during hostile weather conditions.
“I have been driving on this Srinagar Jammu Highway for past four decades. Whenever the road gets blocked, the locals from Lower Munda and adjoining area would always come forward and provide food and shelter to the stranded passengers,” said a truck driver, Ghulam Muhammad Dar.
“Government has left the stranded passengers to fend for themselves in harsh weather conditions,” he added.
The residents said that the Government should making shelters functional on priority to lessen the miseries of stranded passengers.
Deputy Commissioner (DC), Islamabad (Anantnag), Kifayat Hussain Rizwi, however said that the shelters are available for the stranded passengers.
“The shelters are available for the stranded passengers at any time and whenever the need arises we can accommodate them there,” said he.
However, the DC said he will look into the illegal occupation of a shelter by a local.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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