Srinagar: About 3,000 vehicles, including those carrying passengers, remained stranded for the second day on Thursday due to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway following fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours.
The Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained closed for the fourth day today due to fresh snowfall, particularly at Pir-ki-Gali, a traffic police official told UNI.
He said the road has also become very slippery as the snow had accumulated due to below freeing temperature.
Traffic remained suspended since yesterday afternoon on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway due to snowfall and landslides, he said.
It was still snowing on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel. Reports of snowfall were also received from Qazigund, Shaitan Nallah and Banihal throughout the night while it was raining between Ramban and Ramsu.
He said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear put through the highway. However, he said, continuous snowfall has hampered the operation to resume traffic early.
About the vehicles stranded on the highway, he said since traffic was allowed to ply from Jammu to Srinagar yesterday, majority vehicles, including those carrying passengers, have been stopped at different places on other side of the Banihal, particularly at Banihal, Ramban and other safe places. Once the snow clearance operation is over Kashmir bound stranded vehicles will be allowed to move.
About Jammu-bound stranded vehicles from this side of the tunnel, he said since there was no traffic from Kashmir to Jammu yesterday when only up convoy was allowed, no vehicle was stranded. However, he said some vehicles, which had reached Qazigund to start early morning journey towards Jammu today, have been stopped at Qazigund. These vehicles will be allowed only after all Kashmir bound stranded vehicles will be cleared.
He said some persons were injured yesterday when few vehicles skidded off the road due to slippery conditions. The accidents were non-fatal, he said.
Large number of vehicles, including trucks and oil tankers, are stranded on both sides of the Gali, official sources said, adding that last month, over 200 passengers and truckers were rescued after they got struck on the road due to snow. It was heavily snowing on the historic road at several places since last night. The road remained closed for six winter months due to heavy snowfall. However, the authorities have already announced to construct a tunnel to make it an all weather road.