Passenger sheds along NH

The State of Jammu & Kashmir is a mountainous state having high and treacherous mountains in  most of the region. As it rains or snows,it often happens that Jammu Kashmir National Highway is often closed for vehicular traffic because of landslides, shooting stones, heavy snowfall etc.The closure of this lifeline of our State often forces the  people and the stranded passangers to undergo a number of hardships.The stranded drivers and passangers have to spend days and nights together on the road braving extreme cold.Sometimes, they run out of money and have to go without water food in the chilly weather.In some cases, precious lives are lost due to avalanches or vehicles being hit by boulders.Sometimes, the nomads taking their flocks to the higher reaches or returning to the plains suffer huge losses as their sheep and goats are killed due to heavy rain/snow/hailstones.Though the Nashri Tunnel and widening of the road will help a lot in preventing such mishaps on a vast strench of this road, a large stretch of the National Highway, will still remain vulnerable to landslides and shooting stones at many places till the whole road is widened.Though the BRO authorities and Traffic Police try their best to ensure that the road remains cleared for traffic and commuters are not put to inconvenience,the inclement weather and treacherous terrain often  mar their efforts.
Thus,the  closure of  this vital road in case of heavy rain is a perrenial problem, which our state is doomed to face in near future, despite best precautionery measures as and when weather deteriorates. Therefore, what is required is to take long term measures to lessen the problems of the people in case the road is closed.There is need to construct animal sheds and passanger sheds/community halls, toilets at  safe sites near the vulnerable points along the road and arrange for food, medical aid and water to the stranded people and the animals of the nomads in case the road is closed for traffic.
Moreover, drivers should not be allowed to park vehicles on the points vulnerable to landslides and shooting stones.A nominal amount may be charged from the people who can pay for food/accomodation, for maintaining sheds and community halls but the service  must be made available free fo ther poor people.All this will help a lot to provide succour to the stranded people.
Yours etc…..
Ashok Sharma,


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