Restricting civilian traffic on highway anti-people: PC

Peoples Conference (PC) today slammed the state government decision to restrict civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and suspend train services during the Amarnath Yatra, urging the Governor administration to revoke the order at the earliest.

“The decision to impose restrictions upon the movement of civilian traffic on the 97-km stretch from Qazigund to Nashri and suspend train services between Qazigund to Banihal is unprecedented and unjustified. While the safety and security of Yatris is paramount, it cannot be at the cost of making the lives of people miserable”, PC spokesperson Adnan Ashraf Mir, in a statement today, said.

“This is the first instance of an administration restricting civilian traffic along the highway to facilitate smooth movement of Yatra convoys. The Amarnath Yatra has been going on peacefully for centuries without any such restrictions on civilian movement. Kashmiris have always welcomed and facilitated the successful conduct of this ancient pilgrimage, even during the troubled times. Disrupting the lives of local people and tourists on the pretext of paving a safe way for the Yatris will send a wrong signal to the people of Kashmir”, the spokesman said. He said, “Apart from disrupting and inconveniencing lives of common people, the restriction will also derail the economy of Kashmiris, especially fruit and vegetable industry.”

“The ban will affect movement of fruit and vegetables trucks during Yatra which will disrupt the horticulture industry. The government must allow transportation of fruit trucks and other perishable items failing which the growers and dealers may face heavy losses”, he added. Urging the governor administration to address heightened concerns on the traffic restrictions, the spokesman said, “Imposition of these restrictions is an anti-people step and must be revoked immediately to save further hassle to the people of Kashmir.”