One-way traffic to continue in Kashmir highway

SRINAGAR : Only one-way traffic will continue on the national highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country and vehicle will ply from Jammu to Srinagar today.

Meanwhile, authorities have started massive snow clearance operations to restore road communication with dozens of far flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) which remained cut off from their district headquarters for the past three months.

Snow clearance operation has also been launched on historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, likely to reopen within next two weeks if there is no more snowfall.

Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials, left Jammu this morning for Kashmir, where shortage of essentials due to frequent closure of the highway has resulted in price rise of fresh vegetables and chicken.

“Since only one-way traffic will continue till further orders, we have allowed traffic from Jammu to Srinagar today”, a traffic police official said.

He said that no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction.        However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway and National High Authority of India (NHAI) are working to put through the highway for both ways, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.

Traffic official said that normal two-way traffic on the highway will be resumed only after receiving green signal from BRO and traffic police officials posted at different places.

Traffic on the highway remained disrupted frequently since first major snowfall on January 6, resulting in shortage and price rise of essentials, particularly vegetables in the valley.

Meanwhile, the Ladakh region remained cut off from the Kashmir valley due to closure of the national highway due to accumulation of several feet of snowfall.

The BEACON authorities have started snow clearance operation to put through the highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir.

Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained shut due to snow.

However, the authorities have already started snow clearance operation from both sides to restore traffic.

Officials said it will take about two weeks to put through the road provided there is no fresh snowfall.

Dozens of village, including near the LoC in Machil sector remained cut off from district headquarter due to accumulation of several feet of snow.

The border town of Gurez, also remained cut off from district headquarter Bandipora due to snow. The road is likely to reopen in summer.

A number of other far flung and remote areas also remained cut off from their respective district headquarters.

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