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Road to Death: 1750 killed in last 10 years on Sgr-Jmu NH44

‘10850 people killed in 65,398 road accidents across J&K’

Umaisar Gull Ganie

(Asian News Hub) – The fatal circle of deaths and injuries through accidents continues unabated on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, as is revealed by the official figures accessed by news agency—KNO.

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has seen over 8,128 road accidents and 1,750 resultant fatalities in the last decade.

A lifeline to the Kashmir valley, the highway (NH 44) with a total length of above 300 km lies in the Kashmir valley for the first 68 km (up to Qazigund), then passes through a series of dangerous mountains up to Jammu.

All supplies including foods, vegetables and other life-saving essentials are transported through this highway from Jammu towards Srinagar.

The accidents in the Kashmir valley overall are seeing an upward trend, as figures reveal that a total of 10,850 people were killed in 65,398 road accidents across Jammu and Kashmir in last ten years.

As per data compiled by the traffic department, since 2010, 65,398 road accidents happened in which 10,850 people have lost their lives and 89,597 people received injures.

In 2010, a total of 1073 persons were killed while as 8655 people were injured. In 2011, 1121 persons were killed and 9944 injured. In 2012, the death toll rose to 1165, while as 9755 persons were injured, 990 persons died. Around 8681 persons were injured in 2013. In 2014, 992 persons were injured and 8043 were injured. In the year 2015, 917 people were injured and 8142 persons were injured. In 2016, 958 were killed and 7677 were injured. In 2017, 926 were killed and the injured persons were 7419. In 2018, 984 people were injured and 7845 injured. In 2019, a total of  996 persons were killed,  7532 were injured. In 2020, 728 people were killed, while as 5894 were injured.

Many analysts from the Kashmir valley blame the pathetic condition of the roads and the Srinagar-Jammu Highway for the increase in the number of accidents on the highway. Though the Government has initiated various projects for the safety and security of the commuters, the slow pace of the work has been questioned from various quarters of the society.

Talking to a news agency, KNO, the Project Manager of Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, Gaurav Gopal said that the work is expected to be completed by April 2021.

“The work on the Qazigund-Banihal four-lane tunnel is expected to be finalised by April 2021,” Gopal said.

The construction of the Qazigund-Banihal tunnel was started over a decade back but missed several deadlines will now make the travel over Srinagar Jammu Highway easier with the less consuming time that will be a major relief for the people of both Kashmir and Jammu division especially for the tourists who visit the Valley to enjoy the snowfall.

Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) J&K Traffic, T Namgyal told that the human activity has increased massively on the highway and there has been a lot of incursions.

“The local traffic is also plying on the highway which has increased the load on the road, causing problems,” he said.

He blamed the absence of alternate roads to the areas along the highway.

“The highway is more of a city road. We need service lanes and services roads for people who live on the highway,” he said.

Nasir Ali Khan founder of Kashmir Road Safety Foundation (KRSF), an NGO blamed the administrative officials for the increasing accidents on the Kashmir roads.

“There is no smooth flow of traffic on the highways. The drivers should also take care of the speeding,” he said.

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State

Pregnant woman killed, 2 injured as srinagar-bound ambulance meets with an accident in Ramban

(Asian News Hub) – An expecting woman got killed and two other persons received injuries after an ambulance they were on board met with an accident in Batote in Ramban district on Saturday afternoon.

Reports said that the ambulance driver purportedly lost control over the vehicle, enroute to SKIMS Srinagar from Doda. The vehicle rolled down a deep gorge, resulting in on spot death of a pregnant woman besides injuries to two other persons – said to attendants of the (now deceased) woman.

The identification of deceased woman or injured duo could not be immediately known.

GNS

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National

BSF, Pak Rangers resolve to maintain peace on border in first meeting after Ceasefire

Meeting held on Islamabad’s request, lodged strong protest over Drone activities: BSF

(Asian News Hub) – Border guards of India and Pakistan on Saturday resolved to remain committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border in Jammu.

Border Security Forces (BSF) said that Sector Command level meeting, first after New Delhi and Islamabad decided on steadfast holding of ceasefire, was held on request of Pakistan Rangers on International Border in Suchetgarh area of the Jammu.

The BSF delegation was led by Surjit Singh, DIG, Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers delegation was led by Brig Murad Hussain, sector commander Pakistan Rangers, Sialkot Sector , S P S Sandhu (DIG), a spokesman of the BSF, said in a statement cited by GNS.

“It was the first Sector Commander level meeting between two border guarding Forces, after declaration of cease fire agreement by DGMOs.”

“During meeting, Commanders of both the border guarding Forces, discussed various issues with main emphasis by BSF delegation on Pak Drone activities, (militant) activities by Pakistan from across the border, digging of tunnels by Pakistan and other issues related to Border management,” the spokesman said, adding, “A very strong protest was lodged by BSF delegates regarding drone activities by Pakistan authorities in Jammu area.”

The spokesman said both the forces “decided to re-energize instant communication between field Commanders, whenever required, to resolve the ops matters.”

“ Meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and both side agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier DG level talks and committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border,” he added.

GNS

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State

Arms licence racket; Searches carried out at 40 location in J-K, Delhi: CBI

(Asian News Hub) – The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday said that it conducted raids at around 40 locations including official and residential premises of certain IAS and KAS officers in a case related to Arms license racket in Jammu and Kashmir.

CBI today conducted searches at around 40 locations including Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, Delhi (at the official and residential premises of certain then public servants, including IAS, KAS officers, then DM, then ADM etc), around 20 gun houses, dealers in an on-going investigation of a case related to Arms licence racket.

CBI had registered two cases on the request of Jammu and Kashmir government and further notification from Government of India, and took over the investigation of FIR No. 18 of 2018 dated 17.05.2018 earlier registered at Police Station Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK) and FIR No. 11 of 2018 dated 17.05.2018 of Police Station Vigilance Organisation Jammu (VOJ) on the allegations of bulk issuance of arms licenses in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir during the period 2012 to 2016.

CBI also collected documents pertaining to the issuance of said armed licences allegedly spread over 22 districts of J&K.

During investigation and scrutiny of documents, the role of certain gun dealers was found in connivance with the public servants i.e. the then DM and ADM of concerned District had allegedly issued such illegal arms licenses to the ineligible persons.

It was also alleged that the persons who got these licenses were not residents of the places from where the said arms licenses were issued.

Further investigation is going on.

Statement

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