|Over 2,000 vehicles crossed Jawahar Tunnel|
|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Mar 20 Over 2,200 vehicles crossed Jawahar Tunnel - the gateway to the Kashmir valley - even as fresh snowfall in higher reaches and rains in plains disrupted smooth movement of traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Wednesday, officials said.
Kashmir-bound traffic on the 270-km highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, was stopped at Udhampur this morning but was later allowed as the weather improved, traffic department official said.
He said 2,296 vehicles, including 983 light motor vehicles and 31 buses, crossed Jawahar Tunnel till 7 pm.
However, the traffic on the highway would be allowed from Jammu to Srinagar on Thursday as well to facilitate stranded vehicles, mostly trucks, to reach their destination besides the passenger vehicles which returned to Jammu this morning.
The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar in view of the ongoing work on the four-laning project. Light snowfall was recorded at Jawahar Tunnel and its peripheral areas while rest of the highway was lashed by incessant rains, triggering rolling down of stones from the hillock overlooking the highway near Panthiyal. It forced suspension of the traffic in the morning, the officials said. With the improvement in the weather, the authorities concerned pressed men and machinery into service and cleared the road of the accumulated debris, paving way for the resumption of the traffic, the officials said.
They said the traffic was, however, disrupted several times during the day affecting the smooth movement of the vehicles. About four inches of snowfall was reported from high altitude areas while the plains, including Jammu, were lashed by rains since Tuesday night, resulting in considerable drop in the mercury, they said. The weatherman had predicted light to moderate snow in the higher reaches and rains in the plains during the day with very light rains at a few places on Thursday.
Banihal town along the highway received the highest 21.0 mm of rains during the past 24 hours ending at 5.30 pm Wednesday, while Jammu received a rainfall of 17.4 mm during the same period, a spokesman at the weather office said.
The night temperature in Jammu fell by 1.2 notches to settle at 12.4 degrees Celsius, while the day temperature settled at 25.6 degrees celsius, he said.