‘No Assistance Provided To Passengers’

JAMMU: Opposition National Conference on Monday alleged that the stranded passengers in Jammu were left in lurch byb the PDP-BJP coalition government in view of the Srinagar-Jammu closure, however, an official spokesperson said that Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh, today visited General Bus Stand and took stock of the facilities being provided to the stranded passengers.

The NC expressed dismay and deep anguish over the callous attitude of PDP-BJP dispensation towards the stranded passengers of Kashmir here, due to closure of Jammu-Srinagar Highway, saying if appropriate urgent measures were not taken with regard to their comfortable lodging and airlifting, the party cadre would be forced to take to streets.

According to a statement issued to KNS, a delegation comprising National Conference legislators and senior functionaries, led by former Speaker Mubarak Gul and Provincial President Devender Singh Rana, this morning visited the Bus Stand here and took stock of the problems facing to the stranded passengers.

They were “appalled” to see the poor sanitation, lack of facilities and food etc, leaving the passengers including women, children and elders to fend for themselves. “No assistance has been provided by the government,” rued several passengers while narrating their woes to the delegation.

The delegation urged the administration to shoulder its responsibility in meeting the situation and make necessary arrangements forthwith for the stranded people till the highway is opened for traffic.

Taking cue from the past practice, the delegation hoped that the issue with regard to airlifting of passengers would be taken up with all concerned including the Air Force.

They also sought immediate respite for passengers at various points along the Highway who have been left to face the vagaries of weather.

The delegation threatened of staging massive dharnas in case the administration does not wake up to meet the situation unfolded by inclement weather conditions for the past several days. They expressed surprise over the indifference of the government, saying no minister or senior functionary has found it necessary to visit the people in distress and enquire about their sufferings, least to provide them any sort of succour at this hour of need. “The callousness of the government has touched lowest depths”, they observed.

The NC functionaries expressed solidarity with the stranded passengers and assured that the matter would be taken up at appropriate levels for immediate redressal and attention.

Meanwhile, the National Conference leaders telephonically took up the issue with Minister for Revenue Relief and Rehabilitation Basharat Bukhari, Chief Secretary B R Sharma and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Dr Pawan Kotwal. They assured of urgent action on the issues raised by the delegation.

The NC leaders also sought deployment of a team of officers for coordinating facilities and safe passage of the stranded people to their respective destinations. “A grave situation has arisen due to swelling number of stranded passengers and the coalition government cannot remain in a state of inertia”, they said and hoped that immediate necessary and appropriate measures would be taken for comfortable stay in terms of lodging, food etc to the stranded people till the roads open or arrangements for their airlifting are put in place.

However, the official spokesperson said that Deputy Commissioner asked the concerned officers to provide beddings, blankets, hygienic food, lodging and other essential commodities to the stranded passengers at General Bus Stand.

Deputy Commissioner assured the stranded passengers that district administration would provide all facilities to them.

He said that appropriate efforts are underway to open the Jammu-Srinagar Highway as early as possible for safe passage of the stranded people to their respective destinations.

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