As a direct result of Pulwama attack and in the wake of oncoming elections, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to restrict civilian traffic movement on Jammu Srinagar highway to 5 days a week. What this means is that every week, the days of Wednesday and Sunday will be reserved for movement of military convoys. No civilian vehicles will be allowed to ply on the route on these two days. This rule has already been brought into effect and will remain so until May 31st; on every Wednesday and Sunday between 4 AM to 5 PM. The measures are being taken into consideration due to elections and there is a high chance that this rule will be removed later but there is no confirmation on the same. This prohibition would be from Baramulla through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar tunnel, Banihal, and Ramban till Udhampur.
In case of any emergency requiring passage of a civilian vehicle, the police and administrative officials would take appropriate decisions in line with the provisions of movement of civilian traffic during curfews, the notification stated.
If you were planning a trip to Kashmir by road anytime soon then you would have to be careful while planning your itinerary. Please make sure that you are not planning to drive between Jammu and Srinagar on either of the two days. If for some reason you are unable to avoid it then the only other option is to take the Mughal road via Shopian. The restriction does not apply on that route and is limited on only Jammu Srinagar Highway. For further details on the route, please read How to Plan a Journey on Mughal Road.
There is a lot of uproar in Kashmir against this decision. I really do not have an opinion in favor of or against it so I will not comment on it. But from a traveler’s point of view, my honest advice would be to not plan a trip to Kashmir in May until elections are over. Even if everything went peacefully, you will still have to face hassle due to increased security and may even be denied entry to some places. I hope the information above was of help. If you have any questions; or need any further details; please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.