Once again we had the lone surface link to the outside world, the road leading from Srinagar to Jammu, closed for hours because of the landslides. There is nothing new to this as we are used to such obstructions in the movement of traffic on this road. It happens every now and then, and there are no chances of such things going away anytime soon. One can accept the geographical fact that this road passes through a terrain that is vulnerable to all sorts of vagaries, from landslides to snow avalanches. But it is not only the weather hazards that contribute to the disturbances on this road. In fact much of the problems are man made. The way traffic is conducted on this road has always remained a matter of concern for the people who travel on this road.
There have always been complaints of negligence and ill planning. There are huge stretches on this road that go unmanned and because of that traffic jams happen. These jams then spread over kilometres altogether taking hours to clear. After having observed this thing for last couple of years, the authorities should have extended monitoring to those patches on an urgent basis, so that there are no traffic jams. Another contributing factor is the on going work on the projects undertaken to widen the road, and also constructing tunnels at a few places. These projects have now been running for many years and this has resulted in multiple problems on this road. Though such projects are expected to ease out the movement of traffic on this road, and also shorten the distance, but right now problems have accumulated because of the work going on. The most disturbing element is the speed with which the work is being carried out on these projects. While most of them should have been complete by now, we are coming across the news of these projects missing deadline after deadline. What could have been done, at least, to ease out the traffic movement on this road was to speed up work on these projects.