January 2017 News

Kashmir Weather: 800 Trucks, 200 Cars Stranded On Jammu-Srinagar Highway

8 January 2017
Sheikh Zaffar Iqbal

Jammu: Eight hundred trucks and 200 cars are stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar highway for the past three days, in the middle of a forested area, due to incessant rains and heavy snowfall at the Jawahar tunnel and Patnitop. The highway gets blocked every year due to snow and being the only road link for the Kashmir Valley, there is always a fear of shortage of commodities when the road closes. In such a case, the truck drivers are left to fend for themselves and now, they are waiting for the weather gods to show mercy. The administration has confirmed that road clearing operations are underway and the backlog of stranded vehicles will be allowed to go through first. Water is among the scarcest commodities for the stranded truck drivers. One such trucker is Riyaz, who sets off to the nearby populated areas in search of water every morning. 'I went to fetch water, but I was refused. This person had a tank full, but he didn't give me any. I had to take a bucket of water by force,' he says. Left stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, the drivers have banded together. The truck is their home, kitchen and bedroom for now, and this will continue till the road reopens. 'We are stranded in a forested area; there is no source of water nearby. We have to travel long distances to fetch water and we spend the entire day gathering information about the highway - when will it open,' says another truck driver Ranjeet Singh.