Govt lifts highway restrictions

Governor’s administration on Tuesday withdrew an order restricting movement of civilian traffic on the National Highway between Srinagar and Jammu.

An official statement said that following a review of the security situation in the state and of the requirement of security forces’ convoys, Governor Satya Pal Malik decided to lift the remaining restrictions on civilian traffic movement on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway with effect from 27 May (Monday).

The 26 May (Sunday) will be the last day of restriction on the movement of civilian traffic on the highway.

The state administration had earlier on 7 May reduced the number of days from two to one and allowed civilian traffic on Wednesdays.

An official statement said that “these restrictions had become necessary following the movement of security forces on an unprecedented scale after the Pulwama attack. The forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for smooth conduct of general elections. In order to facilitate safe and secure movement of security forces’ convoys, the Government had imposed a prohibition on civilian traffic on NH-44 from Baramulla to Udhampur twice a week, i.e. on Sunday & Wednesday, from 4.00 am to 5.00 pm. Elaborate arrangements were, however, made by the local administration to facilitate movement of public during the period of restriction.”

It may be recalled that the government had imposed a 2-day ban on the movement of civilian vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla highway on 7 April this year to facilitate the smooth movement of security forces convoys.

These restrictions were lifted in a phased manner. The restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on the highway was limited to Sunday with effect from 22 April and later completely withdrawn from 2 May.

Restrictions on the Srinagar-Udhampur stretch were limited to just one day from 13 May. “After a detailed review today with all security agencies, civil and police administration in connection with the preparations for the forthcoming Amarnath yatra, the Governor directed that there should be no restriction on civilian movement on the highway from Monday next,” the statement said.