Much to the annoyance of travelers, the two-and-a-half kilometer long Jawahar tunnel, connecting Kashmir with Jammu region, on Jammu-Srinagar highway has been shut for night traffic movement August 19 in the wake of current unrest.
The move has been a source of trouble for people who allege that in the name of 'security' they are not only being forced to spend nights near the tunnel but also being frisked and questioned multiple times.
Pertinently, the Jawahar Tunnel had been shut for night traffic in 1990 and late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, shortly after assuming the charge of the State in 2002, had thrown the tunnel open for 24 hours much to the relief of the common people.
The restriction on the movement of traffic from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. has been the cause of regular traffic snarls on the highway for past one month. "The stranded vehicles occupy half of the existing double-lane, especially at Batote, Nashri, Peeda, Chanderkot, Ramban, Khooni Nullah, Banihal and Shaitani Nullah, it leaves only half of the road for the two-way traffic to pass in the morning. Besides the excessive checking of vehicles amid traffic jam by CRPF personnel turns the situation ugly. There is mismanagement all around and in the name of security and unrest people are being harassed," the commuters said.
An official said the restriction was imposed on August 19 following the growing attacks on Srinagar-bound vehicles by miscreants. "Once the situation improves, tunnel will be thrown open for traffic round the clock," he said. (CNS)