Mounting woes of Kashmir Travelers

Kashmir Magazine

The travel of Kashmiris on Srinagar-Jammu highway from either side has become both dangerous and as well as unaffordable. Dangerous due to the threat of landslides and avalanches in the stone shooting areas on the Srinagar Jammu highway and unaffordable due to unprecedented hikes in air fares from Jammu to Srinagar during the peak winter months of December, January and February. Keeping in view the vulnerability of the road in the winter months the central government though expected to intervene for keeping the air fares from Jammu to Srinagar on the lower side does not respond to the cries of even the governor of the state on this count. Interestingly the unprecedented hikes in airfares becomes an irresistible issue only after the Kashmir highway is closed due to landslides, avalanches and stone shooting at the vulnerable spots like Ramsu, Ramban, Panthal and Banihal. Few years back government was arranging chattered flights of the Indian airforce for airlifting the stranded passengers but the government has stopped this routine private practice only to leave the stranded Kashmiri travelers to fend for themselves in Jammu the winter capital where the divisional administration of Jammu does not bother to even provided makeshift tents for shelter to the Kashmiris find themselves stranded often in winter months in Jammu and Vulnerable places on Kashmir highway. Though Governor Satya Pal Malik during the recently visit of the Prime Minister sought his personal intervention over the unprecedented hike in airfares from Jammu and Delhi to Srinagar but ironically the Prime Minister choose to remain silent than to respond to the demand of the governor on regulation of air fares from Delhi and Jammu to Srinagar. The department disaster management bound to take care of the victims of any natural calamity does not both to tackle this huge human disaster in winter months in either winter capital Jammu or vulnerable places of Kashmir highway.