The authorities on Wednesday said there is no blanket ban on the movement of civilian traffic on Jammu-Srinagar highway during the Amarnath yatra.
Addressing a press conference, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, said in order to facilitate hassle free movement of the yatra vehicles there is only traffic regulation in place.
"In the last few days there is a buzz on social media and other platforms about blanket ban on the highway for civilian traffic. I want to make it clear that there was no ban on civilian movement during the Amarnath yatra but only traffic regulation," he said. He was flanked by Inspector General (IG) police , S P Pani, at the presser.
Khan said keeping in view the long convey of yatra, there were concerns that led government to put in place traffic regulations. “The first concern was the dilapidated condition of highway. Due to shooting stones the traffic often gets choked on the highway, so going by the traffic advisory, we have made different slots for traffic movement,” he said.
He said from early morning till noon civilians and tourists are free to move to their respective destinations.
Divisional Commissioner said during the movement of yatra vehicles in the afternoon, there is only restriction for brief period and as soon as he yatra vehicles goes through the civilian traffic is allowed on the roads.
“We have also provided alternative routes during the restrictions so that civilian traffic or tourists can travel freely, without facing any trouble,” he said. “People should not pay heed to rumors and the traffic regulation would also be eased in coming days.”
IG Pani said that for ensuring smooth flow of traffic movement on highway it was necessary to regulate it.
He said currently there are “three types” of vehicles that ply on highway-civilian, tourists and yatra- and if it would be left unregulated, “there will be a heavy traffic jam on Jammu-Srinagar highway.”
Pani reiterated that the “limited restriction” on civilian movement has been undertaken after taking into consideration the condition of roads and advisory on security arrangements for yatris.