Traffic to ply from Jammu to Srinagar today
SRINAGAR : The national highway, connecting the Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, reopened and traffic will ply from Jammu to Srinagar today, a traffic police official said this morning. However, no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction as only one-way traffic will continue to ply on the highway till further orders, he said.
Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passenger and trucks loaded with essentials, left Jammu this morning for the Kashmir Valley. Traffic on the highway was closed following landslides and shooting stones, triggered by heavy rains. However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has put into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the road. “We have cleared all Kashmir-bound vehicles, stranded on the highway for the past about one week,” he said, adding that more than 1,500 trucks loaded with essentials and oil tankers have reached Srinagar till late last night. Hundreds of empty trucks and oil tankers remained stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel since only one-way traffic was allowed today.
The Ladakh region remained cut off from the Kashmir valley though the road was put through from Srinagar to Gumri on this side of the Zojila pass.
There was also fresh snowfall on historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, which remained closed for the past four months.
Traffic on the highway was disrupted frequently since January 6 when there was first major snowfall in the valley. Closure of the highway resulted in shortage and increase of prices of essentials in the valley, where everything is imported from different state. However, BRO reopened the highway but only one-way traffic was allowed as the road remained damaged and narrow at several places due to landslides.
There was fresh snowfall early this week on Srinagar-Leh national highway, particularly at Zojila pass and Zero point, hampering the snow clearance operation launched by BEACON authorities. Snow clearance operation was continuing on both sides of the Zojila pass, the official said, adding that fresh snowfall besides threat of avalanche could delay the early reopening of highway, which was closed in December last year.
The authorities have allowed light vehicular traffic from Srinagar to Gumri only on the highway, which remained closed for the past four months. Similarly, there was also fresh snowfall on historic Mughal road badly affecting snow clearance operation. The road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu highway, was to reopen on April 15 after remaining closed for the past four months.
Dozens of far-flung and remote areas, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), remained cut off from their respective district headquarters for the past four months due to accumulation of snow.
There was fresh snowfall recently at Razdan pass, connecting border town of Gurez, surrounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), with Bandipora.