Highway Closure: A dent to Kashmir’s economy, trouble to commuters


Jammu-Srinagar National highway blockade, a corollary that inevitably follows moderate to heavy snowfall in the valley, every year.

This year the things have worsened far too much due the collapsed bridge at Ramban, around 150kilometres from Jammu, which would tentatively take more than a week to repair.

The bad fortune is that after so many years of independence, we still don’t have a 24 hour working road, strong enough to bear the vagaries of harsh winters or alternatively, no proper other route exists that would make an easy, much needed substitute, to the national highway.

The irony is in the age of ultra modernity when the people in authority are vigorously eager to roll out new ambitious plans for development in the area, the roads that play a major role in providing connectivity and boosting economically are dilapidated and stay dilapidated for weeks together.

The repercussions are lack of basic amenities in the valley and whatever is left of the stock is sold at shooting prices, adding just another dimension to the perils of winters for the inhabitants.

In this gloom, there’s still a ray of hope disguised as selfless help provided by the people who came out to support those stuck in traffic, with necessary stock. I deeply express gratitude to all those who showed unfailingly kind and considerate behavior and are contributing in this endeavor, in whatever capacity.

Also I make an urgent appeal to the authorities in power to provide the necessary compensation to the people who faced a huge loss to their stranded trucks carrying essential commodities. Its high time we look for a permanent solution to this ongoing problem, which after so many years of “development and modernization” continues to make lives miserable.

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