Guv apologises to public on highway ban

Says decision taken in national interest

Srinagar, May 22: Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday apologised to the public for inconvenience caused due to the ban on civilian traffic on Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
However, he asserted that the decision was taken in the national interest.
“I apologise to the people for the inconvenience they have faced due to the highway restrictions. But the ban was imposed in the national interest,” Malik told reporters after inaugurating the second phase of Jahangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover.
The Governor administration on Tuesday announced to lift ban on civilian traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway from May 27.
The Government had imposed restrictions in April on civilian movement on the National Highway, connecting Jammu to Srinagar, saying that the order was passed to ensure adequate security to the movement of security force convoys, while at the same time, minimising public inconvenience.
An official spokesperson said that said following a review of the security situation in the state and of the requirement of security forces convoys, the Governor has decided to lift the remaining restrictions on civilian movement on the National Highway connecting, Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, with effect from May 27, Monday.
These restrictions became necessary following the movement of security forces on an unprecedented scale after the Pulwama fidayeen attack, a statement said.
The forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for smooth conduct of general elections. In order to facilitate safe and secure movement of Security Forces’ Convoys, the Government had imposed a prohibition on civilian traffic on the highway from Baramulla to Udhampur twice a week, on Sunday and Wednesday, from 0400 hrs to 1700 hrs.
Elaborate arrangements were, however, made by the local administration to facilitate movement of public during the period of restriction.
Earlier, the restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on the highway was limited to Sunday only with effect from April 22 and later completely lifted from May 2.
Restrictions on the Srinagar Udhampur stretch were limited to just one day from May 13, he said.
After a detailed review on Tuesday with all security agencies, civil and police administration in connection with the preparations for the Amarnath Yatra, the Governor directed that there should be no restriction on civilian movement on highway.
The Governor thanked the people of the state for cooperating with the measures which were necessitated in the larger interest of the state and for welfare of the people.