Srinagar: Earlier this month, the Government had imposed restrictions on civilian movement on the Kashmir Highway (NH-44) connecting Jammu to Srinagar, in order to ensure adequate security to the movement of Security Forces’ Convoys while at the same time minimizing public inconvenience.
These restrictions became necessary following the large movement of security forces on an unprecedented scale after the Pulwama terror attack. These forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for conducting general elections peacefully. In order to facilitate unhindered and secure movement of Security Forces’ Convoys, the Government had imposed a prohibition on civilian traffic on NH-44 from Baramulla to Udhampur twice a week, i.e. on Sunday & Wednesday, from 4.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. At the same time, elaborate arrangements were made by the local administration to facilitate the movement of public during the period of restriction.
The Government is monitoring the convoy needs of security forces on a real time basis and making all attempts to minimize public inconvenience. Earlier, the restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on NH-44 was reduced only to Sunday w.e.f. 22-04-2019 and the prohibition on Wednesday was lifted.
As indicated earlier, the Government is alive to the needs of citizens and will seek to balance public convenience with requirements of security force convoys. The Government has once again reviewed the requirement of security forces. Following the successful conduct of elections in Anantnag & Kulgam districts and as the requirement of Security Forces is now reducing as they are de-inducted, the Government has decided to further relax the restrictions on traffic imposed earlier as follows: –
1. The restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on NH-44 will be completely lifted w.e.f. 2-05-2019. There would be no prohibition on civilian traffic in this stretch on Sunday or Wednesday.
2. The restrictions would continue between Srinagar and Udhampur on NH-44 as earlier. However, these would be reviewed periodically and relaxation would be made as the need for restriction reduces.
3. The local administration would continue to facilitate movement of civilian traffic as has been happening so far, including by allowing public transport of JKSRTC to move during the period of restriction on the NH.
4. A complete review of restrictions on the Highway would be done subsequently.
The Government stated that the purpose of these restrictions is in the larger interest of security of everyone and appealed the people to extend full cooperation in the smooth regulation of traffic. The restrictions strike a balance between the needs of people and inconvenience caused to them on one side and the needs of security forces. The restrictions will continue to be reviewed on a real time basis and modifications will be made as necessary in the coming days.