Srinagar-Jammu NHW closed, over 300 vehicles stranded

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 12/14/2019 4:54:14 PM

SRINAGAR, Dec 13: The Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country since Thursday night following closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway due to fresh snowfall and landslides.
Air traffic at Srinagar International Airport also remained suspended for the past six days due to poor visibility.
About 300 vehicles, including those carrying passengers, are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel.
Meanwhile, the national highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh region with the Kashmir valley, has been closed for winter months due to over five feet of fresh snowfall since Tuesday night and slippery road conditions following below freezing temperature.
The historic 86-km-long Mughal Road and Anantnag-Kishtwar roads also remained closed due to snowfall.
Traffic on the national highway, the only road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was suspended last night following snowfall on both sides of the tunnel, a traffic police official told media this morning. Today traffic remained suspended as there was about one to two feet of snow accumulated at different places, including Qazigund, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal and Shaitan Nallah. Landslides and shooting stones had also occurred at some places between Ramban and Ramsu.
There are 80 vehicles carrying passengers besides over 220 trucks and other load carriers stranded at Banihal tunnel and Qazigund.
He said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have started landslides and shooting stone clearance operation. However, snow clearance operation will commence only after snowfall stops, he added.
He said once the road is put through, only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations before allowing fresh traffic.
For the past about a week, only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway to avoid traffic jam and allow road widening work by NHAI.
The Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed for the third day on Friday due to fresh snowfall during the past 36 hours, a traffic police official told media this morning.
There was three to five feet of fresh snowfall on the Mughal road, particularly at Harpora, Pir-ki-Gali and other areas during the past 36 hours. No vehicle was allowed on the road due to slippery road condition and snowfall, traffic official said adding there is a forecast for heavy snowfall during the next 24 hours.
Traffic on the road was allowed recently after remaining suspended since November 6 when there was heavy snowfall.
The road, which is also seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway, remained closed during winter months due to about ten feet of snow and avalanches.



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