Despite improvement in weather, only one-way traffic on Kashmir highway
Srinagar: Despite major improvement in the weather condition, only one-way traffic will continue on the national highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country till further orders.
Meanwhile, Ladakh region remained cut off from the rest of the country though massive snow clearance operation has already been started on the highway, connecting the region with Kashmir.
The historic Mughal road and several other road communications leading to far flung and remote areas, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) also remained closed due to accumulation of snowfall since January.
Though the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) are working to repair the damaged portion of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, only one-way traffic is allowed for the past three months.
The mainstream and separatist organizations too have expressed concern and alleged that Government of India (GoI) and state government were not interested to construct a durable road to Kashmir, which is dependent on import of everything from northern states.
We have allowed traffic from Jammu to Srinagar today and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction since only one-way traffic will ply till further orders on the highway, a traffic police official told UNI.
He said hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying essentials, particularly fresh vegetables, left Jammu for Kashmir this morning.
He said no vehicle, including Army and other paramilitary forces, will be allowed from opposite direction to avoid any traffic jam as the highway is still under repair at some places where only one vehicle can pass.
Meanwhile, the BEACON authorities are working on war footing on both sides of the Zojila pass to clear snow and put through the highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir.
Similarly snow clearance is also going on to reopen the historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, which remained closed for the past three months due to snow. There is ten feet to 12 feet of snow at some places on the road, which is seen as alternative to Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Officials said the road is likely to reopen by April 15 provided there is no fresh snow.
Dozens of village, including near the LoC in Machil sector remained cut off from district headquarter due to accumulation of several feet of snow.
The border town of Gurez, surrounded by Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), also remained cut off from district headquarter Bandipora due to snow. The road is likely to reopen in summer.
A number of other far flung and remote areas also remained cut off from their respective district headquarters.