Passengers stranded in Jammu demand airlifting

Hundreds of Kashmir-bound passengers stranded in Jammu for past five days due to highway closure today staged a massive demonstration, urging the government to take immediate steps to clear the road or airlift them to Kashmir.
Passengers stranded in Jammu demand airlifting
Photo: Mir Imran/GK

Hundreds of Kashmir-bound passengers stranded in Jammu for past five days due to highway closure today staged a massive demonstration, urging the government to take immediate steps to clear the road or airlift them to Kashmir.

The passengers assembled at General Bus Stand Jammu urging authorities to be serious about their problems.

As per officials, almost 800 people are stranded due to closure of the highway for last five days due to snowfall and landslides.

"Government should airlift stranded passengers as there are women and children who are suffering badly," the protesters said.

Many stranded families said that prices of commodities have been hiked as there was no market checking to put rates in order. "Some of the shopkeepers are taking undue advantage of our miseries," they said.

Later, a delegation of Peoples Democratic Party led by MLC Firdous Tak visited Bus Stand Jammu and interacted with the stranded passengers. He was accompanied by Parvez Waffa, Rajat Randhawa, Asim Malik, Shahnawaz Sofi and others.

Interacting with media persons later, Tak said that closure of the Jammu-Srinagar Highway was not new phenomena and every year the administration prepares a contingency plan to meet the emergent situation during winter season.

"However it's surprising that the State administration this time is caught completely unprepared as a result of which thousands of people are stranded in Jammu without any help or assurance from the administration. This is in addition to the thousands of truck drivers stranded on the highway," he said.

He said that it was also surprising to know that administration has failed to even reach out to the stranded passengers who are spending nights under the open sky at Bus Stand Jammu. The only help the passengers have received so far is from the local organisations and traders while the administration seems to be in deep slumber, he added.

The legislator demanded immediate airlifting of the passengers with the help of army and air force as was done in the past. He said there was least possibility of opening of Jammu Srinagar Highway in the next couple of days due to the bad weather condition and the only way to address the issue is to airlift the stranded passengers to Valley.

The PDP leader also urged the State administration to direct all the district heads along the highway to ensure proper food and shelter to the passengers and drivers stranded at different places.

The legislator later met the Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, and discussed the problems being faced by the stranded passengers. He urged for personal intervention of the divisional head and hoped that the best possible efforts are made to ensure safety of these people.

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