Pilgrims, passengers suffer
KATHUA, Sept 30: The commuters as well as the other people including college and school going students, employees and pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi were put to many hardships due to huge traffic jam on Jammu -Pathankot National Highway right from Pathankot in Punjab to Chadwal in Kathua district today.
According to reporters, the passengers as well as the pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi faced a tough time as they were trapped in the traffic jam for more than three hours.
To clear the Highway, SSP Traffic, Ruler, Mohan Lal Kaith rushed to Lakhanpur and monitored the road clearance along with other officers of the Department and police.
Reports said that the authorities did not allow the vehicles coming from outside the UT to proceed towards Jammu and Srinagar with the result they were forced to park their vehicles on one tube of the Highway that resulted in huge traffic jam and long queues of vehicles on NH are lying right from Chadwal to Pathankot.
Reports said that authorities stopped the vehicles coming from Punjab side to J&K on the pretext that priority will be given to fruit laden trucks coming from Kashmir valley with the result the drivers parked their vehicles on one tube of Highway which created impediments in the smooth plying of traffic resulting in a huge jam.
Reports said even the vehicles carrying cement, iron, vegetables and other essential items for Jammu were also halted by the Traffic Police personnel on duty while no vehicle carrying goods for Kashmir valley was allowed to leave ahead.
Reports said that the passenger vehicles including the buses, cars and school buses on way to Kathua and Jammu from Punjab were stuck on Ravi bridge in heavy traffic jam created by halting of heavy loaded trucks at Lakhanpur.
Many trucks loaded with essential commodities and other items were asked to halt at gateway of J&K at Lakhanpur in Kathua district by the Traffic Police manning the Highway. They were not allowed to move towards Jammu or Srinagar also. Long queues of trucks were seen on National Highway waiting for permission to move towards Jammu and Srinagar.
The truck operators are worried of such mismanagement as they were stopped since last evening. The truck drivers whose vehicles were loaded with vegetables, essential commodities and other items were in tension as they apprehend that the commodities may perish if they had to stay in traffic jam for more time. The truck operators said that they were not even allowed to move to Jammu. If the road of Srinagar is closed or fruit laden trucks are allowed to move on one side, then the Traffic Police should allow the trucks carrying essential commodities to move on the other side, they added.
The Jammu based trucks also need to be allowed to move towards their destination. This way the truck operators are facing problems and financial loss, they said.
They appealed to the Government to take necessary action in this matter as due to huge traffic jam on National Highway the people were also facing lot of inconvenience when they stuck for two to five hours in the jam.
Both the tubes of National Highway from Lakhanpur to Pathankot, including Ravi bridge were jam packed with vehicles.
However, SSP Traffic Rural, M L Kaith told Excelsior that he is himself monitoring the situation and the up convoy has been allowed.
He said basically it is the fruit season and such problem do occur in this time of the year. He said now the up convoy has been allowed and the jam will be cleared soon as Traffic police is on the job.