Amarnath Yatra: NH out of bounds for civil traffic for 5 hours on daily basis

The government Monday disallowed civil vehicles from playing on Qazigund-Nashri stretch of Jammu-Srinagar highway for five hours to ensure smooth passage of Amarnath yatra vehicles.

The 46-day annual Amarnath Yatra began from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes on Monday. It will conclude on 15 August.

The decision to restrict the civil traffic on Qazigund-Nashri stretch during Yatra convoy movements was taken in a meeting which was chaired by Advisor to Governor, Vijay Kumar on June 29.

“There will be no vehicle movement in the opposite or same direction as the yatra convoy between Qazigund and Nashri,” reads an order issued by Traffic Police Headquarters, J&K.

It states that non-yatri vehicles could run on the highway stretch after yatra convoy is cleared.

“No trucks will be allowed to be passed on NHW-44 at any time. If the highway is blocked for any reason, steps would be taken immediately to shift trucks to laterals, feeder roads, holding areas from Kathua to Srinagar,” the order reads.

Similar, the orders says civil vehicles would be moved to holding areas.
As per the order, no civil vehicles will be allowed from 10 am till 3 .pm—the time reserved for Amarnath yatra vehicles—on Qazigund-Nashri stretch of the highway.

The authorities have earmarked 10am till 2 pm for movement of yatra convoys on both side of the highway while the RFID-fitted Yatra vehicles have been allotted to travel from 10: 30 am till 2: 30 pm.

The Light Motor Vehicles (civil vehicles) have been allotted to travel from 3.30 pm to 7 pm while heavy vehicles (one way on alternate days) have to move from 7 pm to 11 pm.

Moreover, the government has ordered the train service at Banihal be restricted for duration the yatra vehicles ply on Qazigund-Nashri stretch.

In case of emergency, the civil vehicles will be allowed only after obtaining permission from deputy commissioner Ramban.

However, the Mughal road has been kept open for the movement of civil vehicles from Srinagar to Jammu and vice-versa.

In the meeting, it was also directed to deploy magistrate en-route Srinagar-Jammu highway and Pahalgam and Baltal routes for smooth regulation of traffic.

The yatra vehicles are given security escort from Jammu up to their base camps—Pahalgam and Baltal. Besides, all laterals/ link roads—leading to the yatra routes—are blocked during the Yatra convoy movement, contingents of police and CRPF are deployed at all intersections to ensure no suspicious vehicles come on the yatra routes.

The yartra vehicles and pilgrims are also monitored through RFID tags so that they don’t deviate from the designated travel routes.