No fresh traffic on Kashmir highway, stranded vehicles being cleared

No fresh traffic on Kashmir highway, stranded vehicles being cleared

Srinagar: No fresh vehicle was allowed to ply on Saturday on the national highway as Jammu bound vehicles, stranded since yesterday are being cleared, a traffic police official said.

Civilian traffic resumed only on Thursday after remaining suspended on Wednesday due to ban imposed by the authorities as a precautionary measure to allow free and secure movement of security force convoy.

Meanwhhile, the national highway, linking Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road and Anantnag-Kishtwar remained closed though snow clearance operation was going on war footing to restore traffic on these roads closed since November last year.

We have not allowed any fresh vehicle from Jammu or Srinagar today, he told UNI.

He said vehicles, including those carrying fruits, empty oil tankers and passengers, which got stranded on the highway yesterday, were allowed to move towards Jammu since this morning. Decision to allow fresh traffic on the highway will be taken only after all the stranded vehicles are cleared, he added.

He said there is a total ban on plying of any vehicle during the night when there is a danger of landslides and shooting stones. However he said, people are requested to contact Traffic Control Unit (TCU) at Srinagar, Ramban and Jammu to know the status of the highway before starting their journey on the road.

No civilian traffic movement was being allowed on Sunday and Wednesday due to ban by the authorities to allow free movement of security force convoy. The ban orders were issued after Awantipora Pulwama fidayeen attack on security force convoy in which about 44 CRPF personnel were martyred on February 14 and similar attempt to target security force vehicle in Banihal area.

However, ban evoked sharp criticism by the mainstream and separatist organizations, traders, transporters and others while a number of petitions have been filed in the High court seeking quashing the ban, alleging it has badly affected normal life in the valley.

Meanwhile, snow clearance operation was going on war footing on both sides of the Zojila pass on the highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir. The road remained closed since November last year due to accumulation of 8 to 12 feet of snow. The centre has already approved construction of a tunnel at Zojila to make it all weather road.

Similarly, snow clearance operation was also going on historic Mughal road which remained closed since November last year due to snow. The road, seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway, is connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.


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