|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Jan 29: Only stranded vehicles were allowed on Wednesday afternoon on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, after remaining closed for a day due to fresh snowfall and landslides.
Hundreds of passenger vehicles besides trucks, carrying essentials for Kashmir, stranded since Tuesday morning at various places on the highway, were allowed to move towards the valley.
A traffic official said that traffic was allowed on the highway following improvement in the weather and clearance of snow at Qazigund, the gateway of Kashmir and both sides of Jawhar Tunnel and Shaitan Nallah.
‘’Landslides between Ramban and Ramsu, triggered by rain since early this morning, were also cleared by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI),’’ he said, adding only vehicles stranded at Nagrota and
Udhampur were allowed to move towards Kashmir.
He said hundreds of vehicles, carrying passengers besides trucks, oil and LPG tankers, which had left Jammu yesterday, were stopped at Udhampur, Nagrota and other places.
However, he said the NHAI pressed into service machines and men and cleared the road on Wednesday afternoon. Since Kashmir valley is entirely dependent upon imports from different northern states, including Punjab, Delhi and Rajasthan, frequent closure of the highway due to snow, landslides, shooting stones often leads to shortage of essentials, including fresh vegetables. Prices of essentials also go up when highway gets closed.
The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) Ladakh with Kashmir, and 98-km-long Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, and Anantnag-Kishtwar remained closed for the past 50 days. These roads are likely to reopen in April-May.