Kashmir highway reopens, only stranded vehicles to ply


Srinagar, Apr 20: Traffic was resumed on Saturday after remaining suspended for about 72 hours due to landslides and shooting stones on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.

However, only Kashmir bound vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials, stranded between Ramban and Ramsu would be allowed to move towards their respective destinations, a traffic police official told UNI today.
He said no fresh traffic would be allowed from Srinagar or Jammu.
As per ban orders on civilian traffic twice in a week—Sunday and Wednesday—only security force convoy would be allowed to ply on April 21.

Traffic on the highway was suspended on Thursday following landslides and shooting stones at Battery Cheshma, Monkeymod and two other places between Ramban and Ramsu. However, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway immediately put into service sophisticated machine and men to put through traffic.

Traffic official said vehicles are being allowed as and when the landslides are cleared, he said adding however, intermittent shooting stones frequently hampers road clearance operation.
Only Kashmir bound vehicles, stranded since Thursday were allowed to move after receiving green signal, he said adding there were fresh landslides at Monkeymode which will take half an hour to clear.
There are About 3000 vehicles, including trucks loaded with essentials, including fresh vegetables, besides carrying passengers are stranded on the highway.

Meanwhile, snow clearance operation was going on war footing from both sides of the Zojila pass on Srinagar-Leh national highway which connects Ladakh region with Kashmir. It is a matter of days now to allow traffic on the highway, official sources said.
Similarly, snow clearance operation was still going on 86-km-long historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch. The road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu highway, was closed for traffic in November last year due to accumulation of five to ten feet snow.

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