Highway Blockade Hits Supply Of Essentials

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Stranded passengers wait for the reopening of the Srinagar highway in Jammu. Pic/The Tribune

While the Kashmir valley continues to reel under freezing temperatures after rain and snowfall last weekend, it is faced with shortage of essential supplies, including fresh vegetables and petroleum products, due to the blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway for the past two weeks.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of -5°C last night, making it the coldest night so far this season.

Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway has been disrupted a number of times due to rains and landslides between Banihal and Ramban during the past two weeks.

At least 126 trucks, after unloading essentials, mostly petroleum products and other merchandise, are stranded at Qazigund on their way back to Jammu. “These are not allowed to move as the highway is not cleared for heavy vehicles,” said a trader here. “The LPG consumers are faced with acute shortage of cooking gas as no trucks are available for refill in Jammu,” said Jagmohan Singh Raina of the Kashmir Gas Agency.

There is also a shortage of fresh vegetables, including the high-priced onions, due to the highway blockade for the past two weeks, said Mohammad Yaqooob, a vegetable dealer at Lal Chowk. — TNS

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