Expressing concern and dismay over "lackadaisical" approach of the PDP-BJP Government towards maintaining Srinagar-Jammu Highway, National Conference District President Ramban Sajjad Shaheen on Thursday said the deplorable condition of the highway is causing frequent closures as a result of which movement of people and supplies gets adversely hampered".
"Travelling on the 300-km long highway has become terrible for the people as the condition of the artery road has gone from bad to worse", Shaheen said, adding that students, patients, traders and other people, who have to commute between Srinagar and Jammu, are suffering adversely.
"It seems the government has left the people to fend for themselves", he added.
Shaheen said that due to the closure of the highway for the past one week, the supplies to Banihal and the Kashmir Valley have been badly affected, resulting in acute shortage of essential commodities.
"Though the government claims that the highway has been upgraded, the fact remains that people have been subjected to great discomfort due to the worsening condition of the road," he said.
Referring to "sinking of a major chunk of land" in village Halwagon in Ramsoo where dozens of houses have become unsafe due to continuous landslides, Shaheen said the villagers have vacated the area and are living in harsh conditions without proper shelter.
The Government should take immediate steps to rehabilitate and compensate them, he demanded.
"Landslides and the sinking portions of the highway have reduced the safety of travellers and hardly a day passes without any accident. With the ever increasing number of vehicles on the highway, the jams have become a common feature. For how long can people live in these nightmarish conditions?" Shaheen asked.
He asked why there had been delay in opening of the Chenani-Nashri tunnel? "Why is government delaying to inaugurate the 9.2 km long tunnel which would have reduced the distance by 31 kms?" he asked.
The District President also asked the government to expedite the work on four-lane highway which he said is going on for years now.