Srinagar-Jammu highway remain closed for fourth day due to snow, landslides
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SRINAGAR : The Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed for the fourth day on Saturday due to fresh snowfall and landslides.
However, several hundred stranded vehicles, mostly carrying passengers, were allowed to move last evening before fresh landslides at Digdol forced suspension of the traffic again at 2200 hrs. A driver was injured after a stone hit his vehicle at Digdol. The injured was admitted to Ramban hospital. However, other occupants escaped unhurt.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Leh national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir, remained closed for the past 25 days on Saturday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road condition due to below freezing temperature. The Ladakh Hill Development Council (LHDC), Leh has signed an agreement with Army to import fresh vegetables during the winter when the Ladakh region remained cut off.
The historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed for the past 25 days.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the past four days on Saturday due to fresh snowfall and landslides, besides shooting stones, a traffic police official said this morning.
He said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), responsible for maintenance and widening of the highway, cleared the landslides last evening at Digdol, where a portion of hill had collapsed last on Wednesday. We allowed stranded vehicles, mostly carrying passengers, to move, he said,
adding but at 2200 hrs there were fresh landslides at the same place (Digdol).
However, since early this morning there was fresh snowfall at Qazigund, on both sides of Jawhar tunnel, Shaitan Nallah and Banihal, he said adding about six inches snow had accumulated so far and it was still snowing due to which road has become slippery.
He said there were fresh landslides at Digdol and other areas, triggered by rain since early this morning.
The NHAI personnel are already on the job to clear the landslides, he said, adding continued shooting stones badly hampered clearance operation.
He said once the landslide and snow clearance operation are over, only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations. “No fresh vehicle will be allowed from Srinagar and Jammu,” he added.
Meanwhile, large number of passengers, including women, children and elderly persons and truckers, remained stranded, mostly between Qazigund to Jawahar tunnel. These vehicles had left Srinagar for Jammu on Wednesday morning but got stranded after landslides at Digdol, where a portion of hill has collapsed.
Appealing people to cooperate, he said the movement of vehicles was being suspended as a precautionary measure to avoid any accident. He requested them to contact Traffic Control Units (TCUs) at Srinagar, Jammu and Ramban before starting journey. He said only stranded vehicles, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, will be allowed to move on priority since there is a forecast for more rain and snow during the next 24 hours.