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One-way traffic resumes after 6 days on Srinagar-Jammu highway
1/17/2021 11:50:22 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Jan 17: Only one-way fresh traffic on Sunday resumed after remaining suspended for six days following closure of the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway due to damage to a concrete bridge on January 10 in Ramban.
About eight thousand vehicles, including those carrying essentials and oil tankers, were stranded on the highway since January 10, when a retaining wall fell.
“Over 2200 trucks carrying essentials and oil and gas tankers, which were stranded on the highway, have reached Kashmir valley till late last night and on Sunday only one-way Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) traffic will ply from Srinagar to Jammu,” a traffic police official told UNI Sunday.
However, the historic 86-km-long Mugal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained closed due to accumulation of heavy snow since last week of December 2020.
The national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir valley, has been closed for winter months from January 1, 2021 due to snow and slippery road condition.
Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended on January 10 evening after a retaining wall of a main bridge at Kela Morh in Ramban collapsed. About ten thousand vehicles, including those carrying passengers, trucks loaded with essentials and oil tankers got stranded on both sides of the damaged bridge.
However, about 2000 Jammu and Srinagar bound stranded vehicles carrying passengers returned to their respective areas after the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) announced that it will take about two weeks to construct the retaining wall of the bridge.
The NHAI also said there is no alternative route available to resume traffic on the highway. Later after the intervention by the government, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) agreed to construct a bailey bridge near the damaged bridge so that traffic resumes on the highway.
Chief Engineer, BRO, Brigadier I K Jaggi, said the Bridge was put to trail run at 1445 hrs on Saturday and traffic was allowed to pass in a regulated manner after giving some final touches and verification.
He said the 40 ton Bailey bridge was constructed by BRO team headed by Brig Jaggi, along with Commandant, 760 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF), N K Dixit and OC, 99 RCC (Road Construction Company), GREF, Lt Colonel Varun Khera.
Brig Jaggi said the bridge was raised within 60 hours, well ahead of 72 hour deadline set by NHAI. “All of us, Commandant, Dixit and OC, Khera and me stayed at the site to supervise the work day and night. The material for Bailey bridge was brought from different parts of Kashmir and Kishtwar district in as many as 30 trucks” he added. Traffic police official said the stranded vehicles carrying essential commodities were allowed to move towards Kashmir Saturday evening. He said more than 2200 trucks and oil tankers arrived in Kashmir valley till late in the night.
Official said only one-way traffic was allowed to ply on the highway from Srinagar to Jammu and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction.
He said the weight bearing capacity of the Bailey bridge is less than 40 metric ton.
He said LMV had to cross Zig Qazigund between 0700 hrs to 1000 hrs which will be followed by Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) from Qazigund to Jammu.
He said security forces are also advised to ply from Srinagar to Jammu as per traffic advisory.
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