Ban on civilian traffic on national highway in Kashmir

SRINAGAR — The Government has been reviewing the restrictions imposed earlier this month on civilian movement on the National Highway (NH-44) connecting Jammu to Srinagar with a view to balancing the security needs of government forces’ convoys with the need for 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 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 AM to 5.00 PM.

Elaborate arrangements were, however, made by the local administration to facilitate movement of public during the period of restriction.

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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 later completely lifted w.e.f. from 02-05-2019.

The Government is alive to the needs of citizens and has once again reviewed the requirement of security forces. Following the completion of elections in Pulwama & Shopian districts and as the requirement of security forces is now reducing, the Government has decided to further relax the restrictions on traffic imposed earlier as follows:

1. The restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Udhampur on NH-44 will be lifted on Wednesdays w.e.f. 13-05-2019. The prohibition on civilian traffic in this stretch would now be only on Sunday.

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2. 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.

3. A complete review of remaining 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.

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