STATE TIMES NEWS Banihal: Expressing serious concern over frequent traffic jamming and closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National highway (NH44), National Conference (NC) leader and district president, Ramban Haji Sajjad Shaheen on Monday has said that the miserable condition of the 300-km long road has taken ” people of the state hostage”. “People living across the state especially in Kashmir valley and Banihal have been left at the mercy of landslides that disrupt traffic on the only all-weather road, which connects the valley with rest of the country, Shaheen said in a statement. He further said that the mismanagement and lack of coordination among the Traffic Police posted all along the NHW is one of the factors responsible for the present mess on the NHW and the department has completely failed to regulate smooth flow of traffic on the roads as daily road commuters and pubic in general has to remain stranded in traffic jams for hours together right from dusk to dawn especially between Banihal and Ramban stretch of NHW causing grave inconvenience to students, patients, employees, traders and transporters. Sajjad Shaheen said, the faulty execution of the highway widening between Banihal and Ramban is a main reason for the frequent highway blockade. He also called for road safety audit of Ramban-Banihal stretch of National Highway saying that the road managers cannot abdicate their responsibilities as the roads across the region have become deadly and every alternate day people are shocked to learn about deaths on maddening roads. He added that while the rest of the world is getting benefitted through advancement of technology, the Srinagar-Jammu highway has taken a reverse gear. Shaheen said that, while the common people were suffering unheard, the delay in the transportation of the goods has equally affected lives of common people. Shaheen has appealed to the present Administration to come to people’s rescue and evolve a proper mechanism in coordination with the stakeholders so that the people are taken out of this highway crisis.
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