Highway Ban: School Buses, Tourist Vehicles & Ambulances Exempted

SRINAGAR — Amid outrage in Kashmir Valley over ban on civilian traffic on strategic Baramulla-Jammu highway, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, on Friday said that ambulances, school buses and other essential services are exempted from the ban purview.

On April 3, the government banned civilian traffic from dawn to dusk for two days every week until May 31 on the Highway stretch from Udhampur in Jammu to Baramulla in North Kashmir to facilitate the movement of government forces convoys.

Addressing a presser here, the Divisional Commissioner said that there would be no restrictions on vehicles of “medical emergencies, schools, colleges, government employees, and people running business establishments, those who have orchards near the highway, tourist vehicles, and those who have to travel by air”.

Flanked by IGP Kashmir SP Pani, the divisional commissioner said that a meeting was of top police officers and District Development Commissioners was held by him regarding the issue.

During the meeting, it was decided that all the emergency vehicles would be allowed on the highway, the lifeline of Kashmir.

He said that in order to make the civilian traffic movement smooth and comfortable, the government has decided to ban the civilian movement for two days in a week. He said authorities have found it better to put restrictions on two days so that traffic plies normally on other days.

On April 3, the government banned civilian traffic from dawn to dusk for two days every week until May 31 on the Highway stretch from Udhampur in Jammu to Baramulla in North Kashmir to facilitate the movement of government forces convoys.

The measure has been adopted to facilitate unhindered movement of security forces’ convoys to eliminate the possibility of fidayeen attacks during the ongoing poll process, said government in an official order issued here.

The ban on civilian traffic would be effective from Baramulla to Udhampur through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban, the notification said.

The ban would be in force on the two days from 4 am to 5 pm, it added.

In case of any emergency requiring passage of civilian vehicle, the police and administrative officials would take appropriate decisions in line with the provisions of movement of civilian traffic during curfews, the notification said.

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