Srinagar,February 6,2017 CNS: Thousands of passengers from the Kashmir valley who remained stranded on Srinagar-Jammu highway due to landslides at different locations for the fifth consecutive day marched by foot from Ramban to Banihal on Monday. The passengers including drivers accused district administration of callousness and said that due to official apathy they have to pay for even water on the highway.
Due to shortage of basic facilities, the stranded passengers including woman and children started foot journey while according to reports thousands of passengers were seen marching towards Banihal amid the clearance work from authorities at Digdol, Panthahal and other locations hit by landslides.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that all but 2500 to 3000 vehicles are stranded on Srinagar-Jammu highway while a beeline of private trucks could be seen from Qazigund to Mir Bazar. The stranded drivers alleged that not a single government official visited them to take stock of the situation which according to them is very ‘grim’.
Witnesses said that some of the stranded passengers held a demonstration to protest the shortage of basic facilities and demanded their airlifting to Kashmir.
SP Traffic Rural Mr Fayaz Ahmed told CNS that the BECON was carrying out restoration work on the war-footing and damaged stretch of the road was expected to be cleared by Monday night.
Minister for Roads and Buildings Abdul Rehman Veeray said the redress of people’s grievances is the prime concern and all efforts are on to provide required facilities to the stranded passengers and drivers.
He assured the stranded passengers that the government knew their problems and would take requisite steps to redress them.
He directed the officers concerned to take stringent action against the profiteers, especially the hoteliers who are charging exorbitant rates from the stranded passengers. (CNS)