During the winter months frequent blockade of Srinagar - Jammu National Highway is a cause of concern.
The blockade happens due to rough weather conditions and their subsequent effects on the road. Snowfall, landslides and shooting stones keep on hampering the vehicular traffic movement.
While such situations are unavoidable but efforts must be made so that the blockade period is minimised after a snowfall, landslides or shooting stones. The men and machinery must be ready in strength to deal with emerging challenges.
Those maintaining the road and ensuring the traffic movement are doing a commendable job. But because of the increasing challenges and increasing traffic rush on the highway, they should get additional support in every required way to complete the road clearance operation speedily.
As the road clearance operation takes more time, it adds to the woes of hundreds of stranded travellers. The supply of essentials gets delayed and leads to scarcity and even price hike of such items in the markets. Reports say that traffic police has planned some special measures for smooth traffic movement on the highway this winter.
Such measures must be effectively implemented during the winter. The flow of traffic should be smooth in the highway on normal days in winter. There should not be any unnecessary suspension of traffic movement and traffic jamming. And when snowfall, landslide or shooting stones occur, the safety of stranded passengers must get priority.
Then immediate steps must be launched to remove the blockade, clear the road and restore traffic movement. Uninterrupted traffic movement is very important on Srinagar - Jammu National Highway as it is the only all weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the country.
Measures must be also taken to make the Mughal Road, connecting Poonch district of Jammu with Shopian district of Kashmir, an all weather road.
The central government has divulged a plan including construction of tunnels for this purpose. It is being hoped that the plan gets practical shape at the earliest.
At the same time effective maintenance of Srinagar -Jammu National Highway in all seasons particularly in winter is of high importance.
The frequency and duration of road blocks has to be minimised in winter. This can be done with right implementation of right measures in winter.