DilPaziir

Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remains closed for the eighth day

The govt. has been making tall claims of constructing the new Jammu-Srinagar National Highway but it has missed several deadlines.

The recent heavy snowfall in Kashmir came with no surprise to its residents as Chillai Kalan is known to wreak havoc with its lowest temperatures and heavy snowfall. People were enthusiastic at first with posting mesmerizing photographs on their social media accounts. However, it later turned out to be distress for Kashmiris as many houses got damaged, few of the videos made way to the social media garnering huge viewership.

Apart from this, the government was seen nowhere on the ground to clear snow from even major roads in valley. It became a huge debate among the netizens as the road leading to major hospital of capital city was not cleared of snow. Since then, people living in major towns and Srinagar have been complaining of non-clearance of snow from lanes and by-lanes which is adding to their woes. Absence of essential amenities also remained a major talk. In rural and urban areas people had to fetch water from springs and streams, some even were forced to defreeze the snow in absence of piped water supply.

Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continues to remain closed for traffic which is a daily affair every winter. The truck drivers and passengers continue to suffer as authorities are yet to make the highway motorable even after one week of snowfall.

Truck drivers who are stuck on this highway express the government’s apathy towards them. “I have been stuck here without access to basic needs. It is not for the first time but we have to face it every year. Nobody listens to our troubles,” said Sikander khan a truck driver from Rajouri area. 

There has been a long time that government is making tall claims that new highway is under construction but it has missed several deadlines while keeping the hope alive among people who are solely dependent on this highway for their livelihood. “Government is making tall claims of constricting the highway but nothing is seen on ground,” Basheer Khan said.

Another driver who said that he has been stuck for eight days amidst chilling cold. It is pertinent to mention that temperature goes to minus 11 these days. On Wednesday morning, the sub-zero temperature has left Dal, the major lake of Kashmir frozen. “The higway has become a matter of concern and is taking toll on our livelihood. In these conditions we even fail to pay monthly EMIs and making earning remains distant dream” 

Additionally, the highway is leaving passengers to and from Kashmir in lurch. The air tickets get inflated during this season, the issue which Kahsmiris have been complaining of for years now.

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Dil-Paziir (Urdu; meaning ‘heart-pleasing’) is a special edition positive news series brought to you by Digpu, sourced from conflict areas, starting from Kashmir. Our local journalists have successfully shared many inspirational stories from the valley – from the invention of E-Charkha, automatic ventilator in Kashmir, stories of brotherhood through to the first-ever cricket tourney for Blind sportsmen, all the stories make us awe-struck. These are NOT FOR REPRODUCTION.

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Sameer Mushtaq

Sameer Mushtaq is a freelance photojournalist based in Kashmir, Besides covering stories from various parts of India, he has covered Kashmir conflict for many national and international publications. His work has been published in several newspapers and journals of national and international repute.

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