About 3,000 vehicles stranded on Kashmir highway for second straight day

About 3,000 vehicles stranded on Kashmir highway for 2nd day

Srinagar:  About 3,000 vehicles, including those carrying passengers, are stranded on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national which remained closed for the second day on Friday due to landslides and shooting stones, triggered by rain besides slippery road conditions due to fresh snowfall.

Meanwhile, scores of Kashmiri students who have to appear in GATE 2019 at Jammu or Delhi, could not go due to closure of the highway and cancellation of eight flights due to poor visibility on Thursday. There is no centre in Kashmir valley.

Demanding Governor’s intervention the students said, ‘We have to appear in the examination at Jammu tomorrow but are still stranded in Kashmir.’

Meanwhile, the national highway, the only road linking Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained shut since December last year due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.

Traffic on the national highway was suspended again on Thursday morning due to fresh snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, Shaitan Nallah and Banihal and rain in Ramban area, a traffic police official told UNI this morning.

About two feet of snow has accumulated at Jawahar tunnel and there was a forecast for fresh snowfall.

The Banihal to Ramban stretch, particularly Aknokhi Fall, Digdol and Penthal, was badly affected due to landslide and shooting stones triggered by rain, he said.

He said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, have already put into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow and landslides on the road.

However, only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations before allowing fresh traffic from Jammu or Srinagar, he said.

Over 3000 vehicles, including those carrying passengers, are stranded at different places on the highway, official sources said.

After remaining stranded for over a week at Qazigund, the traffic authorities allowed truckers to move towards Jammu on Wednesday, a driver told UNI over phone. However, he said, ‘after some time traffic was again suspended and we are still stranded here.’ He said he was carrying apple in his truck to Delhi but is stranded without food and water.

A large number of Jammu-bound vehicles, mostly carrying passengers, are stranded at Nougam as they could not move forward on Wednesday due to traffic jam before the highway was again closed due to landslides and shooting stones.

The highway was closed for about 13 days due to snow, landslides and shooting stones in January this year.

The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway linking Ladakh region with Kashmir also remained closed due to accumulation of snow, particularly between Sonamarg-Zojila-Meenmarg and Drass. There was also fresh snowfall early this morning at several places on the highway. However, the snow clearance operation will be started next month only.

Meanwhile, the Centre has decided to issue a fresh tender for construction of a tunnel at Zojila to make the Srinagar-Leh national highway all weather road.

The historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed due to snow accumulation. Similarly, Anantnag-Kishtwar in Jammu region, also remained shut due to accumulation of snow.


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