Sgr-Ladakh highway closed for winter
The national highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh region with the Kashmir valley, was closed for winter months due to fresh snowfall and slippery road conditions following below freezing temperature.
Meanwhile, several hundred vehicles, mostly trucks, stranded at Sonamarg on this side of the Zojila pass on the highway, will be allowed to return to Srinagar.
There was fresh snowfall since Tuesday night on the highway, particularly at Sonamarg, Zojila, Zero Point and Meenmarg, forcing authorities to suspend traffic again on Wednesday. Traffic on the highway was restored recently after remaining closed since November 6 due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, official sources told UNI this morning.
They said stranded vehicles at Zojila and other places were cleared.
However, later a team of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) headed by Chief Engineer, civil and police officials visited Zojila and other areas on the highway which remained frozen in the morning due to sub zero temperature during the night.
It was decided to close the highway for winter months since it was very dangerous to allow traffic because of slippery road conditions.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, has issued an order last night to close the highway for winter months following fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours.
The authorities claimed that enough stock of essential commodities, including rice, atta, sugar, kerosene oil, petrol and diesel besides LPG cylinders, have been stored in different parts of the UT, including at Leh and Kargil.
This is the first winter in the region since Ladakh was granted UT status on August 5, when centre scrapped Article 370 and 35 A, besides divided the state into two UTs.
The centre has already approved construction of tunnel at Zojila to make it all weather road. However, due to poor response fresh tenders were issued for construction of the tunnel and other works on the highway.
Despite light snowfall the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was through for one-way traffic on Thursday.
However, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed for the second day on Thursday due to fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours, a traffic police official told UNI this morning.
There was fresh snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel early this morning and sky was cloudy in Ramban and Ramsu areas, he said. However, the highway was open for one-way traffic.
Today vehicles will ply from Srinagar to Jammu and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction to avoid traffic jam and accidents, he said. However, people are requested to contact Traffic Control Units (TCU) at Srinagar, Jammu and Ramban before starting journey on the highway, he said adding only one-way traffic will ply on the highway till further orders.
There was fresh snowfall on the Mughal road, particularly at Harpora, Pir-ki-Gali and other areas during the past 24 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