Everyone is well aware of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highways prevailing conditions and to the locals dismay, it has been six days since its closure.
When winter hits the state, this highway remains the only functional road link, connecting Srinagar to Jammu, but its shut down has had people, students and workers stranded at Jammu. While desperately waiting for some relieving announcement to come their way, they battle for essentials, such as food, shelter and money, every day.
Taking advantage of the situation, Jammu vendors have hiked prices for items of basic utility. There are no checks being made by the government over this type of arbitrary pricing.
Although, as previously reported by newspapers and governmental blogs, the air-lifting of the GATE aspirants and stranded tourists from Srinagar to Jammu received worldwide praise, the rest remain forgotten. Many of the GATE and JAM aspirants, who managed to reach the exam centre at Jammu by their own means, are now unable to return to their homes. In order to help the bunch that didnt make it to Jammu, the administration managed to erect a few exam centers at Srinagar. Without the pressure generated by students, on official and non-official platforms, the administration might have never spurred into action.
This lax attitude and hurried business, inconveniences everybody. Why does the administration wait until the eleventh hour? Why arent preparations done in advance for the benefit of the citizens?
This isnt new to the government. The valley deals with such issues all the time but it is upsetting to see that every year, the citizens have to shake the administration into action. It was perturbing to hear that aspirants from places between the Jammu province and Kashmir valley, such as Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Doda, Ramban, Ramsoo, and Banihal, missed their exam because of the closure of the highway. Even though the option of flying exists, choosing air as a mode of transportation is too much of a costly affair.
Facilitating smooth and safe connectivity throughout the state, is the need of the hour and its high time that the state government woke up.
Umar Ali Dar
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