The early setting of winter has its own woes. Jammu and Srinagar highway remains blocked because of road blocks or heavy snowfall. Some of the most vulnerable points being in the Ramban district which is prone to landslides during monsoons and in winter because of heavy snowfall. Relief and rescue operations on the only land-link connecting Jammu and Srinagar regions remains always wanting. The trucks carrying supplies to Kashmir get lined up on the highway during winter and rainy season. Pathetic is the condition when these stranded truckers do not find a place where they can take shelter during the bad weather. It has also led to large number of accidents claiming human lives. In the last two days, 20 people have lost their lives due to various reasons and weather is also part of the notoriety claiming lives. What is alarming is that government agencies till date have not set-up a highway trauma agency which can take control of any mishap or even the blockade at that particular spot. Even there is no place for the stuck-up passengers to get shelter or food. The alternative connects, Mughal Road remains too closed due to snowfall. The inclement weather has led to landslide, temporary disruptions of surface transportation on Leh-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu highways. Seeing the importance of the highway surprisingly there is no forewarning agency which can warn the road users about the hazards ahead and neither the traffic is regulated or stopped at a safer point so that people travelling on the highway do not face hardships. The 270-km long highway stretch has to be a all-weather road-link. The national highway is not just the only road link that connects Kashmir to the outside world but also the life line that connects Srinagar with the southern and northern districts of the Valley. The highway passes through five of the 10 districts of the Valley, and highways to at least two more districts branch out from it. The highway, directly and indirectly, impacts a population of over 69 lakh.
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