Banihal/Jammu: Thousands of stranded civilian vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essential supplies to Kashmir, were allowed to run on Jammu-Srinagar national highway Sunday, the day restricted for movement of security convoys only.
The normal one-way traffic on the 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was affected since Wednesday following multiple landslides and continuous shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the arterial road at Digdole and adjoining areas in Ramban district.
Though the highway was cleared of the debris and the stranded Srinagar-bound vehicles allowed to move towards their destinations Saturday morning, there were still over 4,000 vehicles, mostly trucks, stranded at various places on the highway.
“It was decided that only stranded civilian vehicles will be allowed on the highway this Sunday in view of the road blockade over the past couple of days. There will be no movement of security convoys from either Srinagar or Jammu,” a traffic department official said.
He said the civilian traffic is moving smoothly and over 4,500 Srinagar-bound vehicles have crossed the Jawahar Tunnel, the gateway to Kashmir valley, over the past 24 hours after the restoration of the highway.
“We are hopeful of clearing all stranded vehicles during the day to allow normal one-way traffic from Srinagar to Jammu on Monday,” the official said.
Traffic on the highway is plying alternatively from the twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu.
On April 7, the governor administration imposed restrictions on civilian traffic on the highway twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays after a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attacker rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy, killing 40 jawans on February 14.
However, the restrictions on the civilian traffic were completely lifted from Srinagar to Baramulla stretch of the highway earlier this month, while the restrictions along Udhampur-Srinagar was restricted to Sundays from May 23. (