As the season of snowfall begins, so does start a challenge for the concerned authorities whether to allow or disallow vehicular traffic movement on highways and other important roads during the hostile weather conditions.
Not only those managing the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, but others on Mughal Road, Srinagar-Leh Highway and Bandipora-Gurez Road, which sometimes remain open till the early winter, have to do this crucial task.
Taking the right decisions by the authorities regarding traffic movement is very important for the safety of travellers.
Such decisions help in preventing mishaps and also save the passengers and drivers from getting stranded on roads in unfavourable conditions.
The measures are particularly imperative on the roads like Srinagar-Leh highway, Mughal Road and Bandipora-Gurez Road till those remain open before finally getting closed for winter months. The authorities must take decisions based on weather forecast and road conditions at that time.
In past several people lost their lives and others remained stranded and faced difficulties, as traffic movement was allowed when it should not have been permitted.
Surely, there is no reason stopping the traffic movement unnecessarily, but if the weather situation demands stopping of movement of vehicles it should be done; thus not putting the lives of travellers in danger.
The movement should be restored once the conditions permit. The authorities did well by stopping traffic on Mughal Road, Bandipora-Gurez Road and Srinagar-Leh highway due to snowfall in the upper reaches during the intervening night of November 5 and November 6.
The snow had blocked the roads and created slippery conditions. The road clearance operations were launched to restore the traffic movement. Last month dozens of vehicles got stuck on Mughal Road when traffic was allowed during snowfall.
An operation had to be launched to rescue the stranded passengers and drivers, who were taken to safer places. Since the snowfall was light, the operation concluded successfully.
Were it a heavy snowfall, the things could have been difficult. The early snowfall this year made the authorities to become more alert, and much earlier.
Authorities must manage the traffic movement in a safe way so that the lives of those travelling on highways and major roads are not endangered.