Highway Ban: Medical Prescriptions To Be Treated As ‘Travel Passes’; Lawyers Exempted Too

Srinagar, April 9:  Authorities on Tuesday said medical prescriptions shall be treated as “travel passes”  on the national highway amid outrage over an official order banning civilian traffic on the thoroughfare twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday) to “secure” convoy movement.

“All medical emergencies  shall be kept beyond the restrictions enumerated in the above-mentioned order and the medical prescriptions shall be treated as travel passes by the implementing agencies,” reads an order issued by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on Tuesday about “smooth implementation” of an government order  issued on April 3 regarding “regulation of civil traffic during movement of security forces convoys on the National Highways.”

According to the order issued on Tuesday, advocates and lawyers of High Court and other courts “shall also be exempted from the restrictions given in the aforesaid order and identity cards of the learned advocates shall be treated as travel passes by the concerned.”

Magistrates and police personal  “present at all the critical crossing points intersections of the NH 1A shall ensure that the commuters are allowed to pass the National Highway in a hassle-free manner,” the order says.

In a major embarrassment to the government, the Army had on Monday plied a convoy on the highway, saying the highway order will “hamper” its operations.

The state Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra on the directions of Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam issued an order on April 3 in which civilian traffic was restricted on the highway from Udhampur to Baramulla on Sunday and Wednesday every week till May 31 to “facilitate the smooth movement of the convoys of the security forces on those two days.” (GNS)