Jammu: The Jammu chamber of commerce and industry on Thursday arranged free food for nearly 1,000 stranded passengers in winter capital Jammu.
Due to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, more than 4,000 people are stranded in Jammu and many of them are complaining that they have run out of money to pay for food and shelter.
Over a thousand of these stranded people are sheltered at the Jammu bus stand complex in the winter capital.
As a goodwill gesture, the Jammu chamber of commerce and industry on Thursday arranged free food for around 1,000 such stranded passengers.
Rakesh Gupta, president of the chamber, who personally supervised the distribution of free food at the bus stand told a news agency: "Initially we had planned to distribute packed food to the stranded passengers, but then I thought if we intended to serve our brothers and sisters, we must not do it with cold food as it is already cold here this time."
"So we brought hot food and we are giving it to the stranded families. `Jab seva karni hai to woh dil se honi chahiye` (If one means to serve someone, it must come from one`s heart).
Old men and women were lined up with children to receive rice and dal served to them at the bus stand.
Priya Seth, minister of state in the PDP-BJP ruling alliance, appreciated this goodwill gesture of the Jammu traders and industrialists.
Muhammad Shafi, 27, who was among the stranded passengers said: "We are stranded here for the last four days".
"Most of the money we had, has been spent and we don`t have enough to pay for food and hotel accommodation now. The government must do something immediately to arrange for our return home."
The over 300-kilometre long Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday due to multiple landslides triggered by incessant rain and snowfall along the hilly highway.
There was intermittent rain in Jammu and along the highway during the day. The inclement weather has been hampering the road opening operation by the Border Roads Organisation that maintains the road.