Highway reopens after 4 days

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 1/18/2020 5:03:21 PM

SRINAGAR, Jan 17: The national highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir valley with rest of the country, reopened for one-way traffic on Friday after remaining closed for four days due to snow and landslides.
Traffic will ply from Srinagar to Jammu today and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction, a traffic police official told media this morning.
However, following very slippery conditions due to temperatures falling below the freezing point, particularly between Qazigund to Banihal and Shaitan Nallah, traffic was allowed only after road become safe for journey, he said.
He said traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway was suspended on Monday following heavy snowfall at Qazigund, Jawahar tunnel, Banihal and Shaitan Nallah and fresh landslides and shooting stone at over a dozen places between Ramban and Ramsu.
But, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) pressed into service sophisticated machines and finally cleared snow and landslides on the highway in the afternoon on Thursday.
He said that stranded vehicles were allowed to move towards their respective destinations after the highway was put through. Trucks, carrying essentials, besides oil, diesel and LPG tankers were also allowed to move towards Kashmir.
Due to frequent suspension of traffic on the highway, people in Kashmir valley are facing acute shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables, LPG and other items. Valley is entirely dependent on imports from different parts of the country, particularly Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan.
The prices of commodities are also going up after highway gets closed. Frequent suspension of traffic on the highway has become a daily routine since NHAI started road widening, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu.
Meanwhile, the highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) Ladakh with Kashmir and Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, and Anantnag-Kishtwar road also remained closed for the past 38 days on Friday due to snow and slippery conditions.
The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway and historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained closed and there was no chance of reopening these roads before April-May following heavy to very snowfall besides slippery conditions.



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