The government's move comes after scores of trucks with relief material were halted for two days at J&K entry point Lakhanpur Inter State Toll Plaza (ISTP) due to the state government's order asking relief senders to get entry letters from District Magistrates of respective districts in Kashmir Valley where the relief is to be send.

 

Forty-five trucks of Shri Amarnath Sewa Mandal of Patiala with food items, utensils, blankets, medicines were stopped at ISTP, Lakhanpur in Kathua district at the toll posts of the Excise Department and Sales Tax Department on Sunday after they failed to furnish entry letters from Magistrate of a district in Kashmir.

 

"We have got trucks full of ration and other things including quilts and utensils. But they are not letting us go further from the Jammu and Kashmir barrier," said president of the Sewa Mandal, M D Sharma.

 

Meanwhile, an officer of Excise and Taxation Department said, "We had stopped the trucks for want of the letter of entry permission by the Deputy Commissioner in Kashmir. As per the government circular, trucks carrying relief material should have entry letters from the Deputy Commissioner of the districts where relief is to be sent,"

 

The truckers, however, questioned how could they enter Kashmir to fetch the permission letters if they were not allowed to enter the state in first place.

 

"It is a wrong order which is bound to cause hindrance in relief distribution process," Sharma said. As truckers held protests over the issue, the government withdrew the order.

 

"Government has now made District Magistrate (Kathua) as nodal officer and a 4-person cell has now been created here with to grant permission on fast track basis," the officer said adding "all trucks have been granted permission and they have left to various districts of J&K with relief."

 

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