Kashmir highway opens, only Jammu-bound stranded vehicles allowed to move

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Srinagar: Despite intermittent shooting stones and landslides, one-way traffic was restored on the National highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, and Jammu- bound vehicles, stranded since May 13, were allowed to move on Wednesday, official sources said.Meanwhile, the national highway, linking Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road are also through for one-way traffic today, sources told UNI.

Several thousand vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with apple, which had left different parts of the Kashmir valley on May 13, got stranded at different places due to intermittent landslides and shooting stone. However, there was huge landslide at Digdol in Ramban area yesterday and no vehicle was allowed to move due to continued shooting stones.The National Highway Authority of India (HNAI), and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway put into service sophisticated machines to clear the highway.

However, it was at 1700 hrs last evening it was decided to allow stranded vehicles to move towards Jammu despite shooting stones which were being cleared immediately.There are still large number of Jammu-bound vehicles stranded on the highway which are being cleared, sources said.

No fresh vehicle will be allowed from Jammu or Srinagar till all stranded vehicles are cleared, they said.The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI) has lauded the serious efforts and dedication of Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan to clear 3000 trucks loaded with essential commodities on the National Highway towards valley on Saturday which will timely benefit the valley consumers.

Regarding hassle-free road connectivity to the valley, the Divisional Commissioner has assured the members that National Highway will be fully restored within a week and traffic will ply from both ends on it besides roadside amenities will be developed on Mughal Road within ten days.Meanwhile, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh visited trouble spots on the highway and directed Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) to take immediate steps to keep the highway open yesterday.

The DGP, along with officers and representative of HCC company Manohar Sharma, visited and had an on spot review of the major slide sites including Mehar, Marog-1, Marog-2, Monkey Morh, Anokhifall and Digdol.Mr Singh reviewed the measures being taken or to be taken by the HCC company immediately so that the highway remains open. He issued on spot instructions for ensuring adequate measures to be put in place to minimize the inconvenience caused to commuters.

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