Highway shut for third day; Over 1000 vehicles stranded

Sohail Punjabi

Jammu: The Jammu-Srinagar Highway remained closed for traffic for the third day Friday due to fresh landslides triggered by heavy rains, leaving over 1000 vehicles stranded.
Authorities did not allow any fresh movement of traffic from Jammu to Srinagar or from the other side as a precautionary measure in view of the bad weather conditions.
Fresh landslides have occurred at three to four places on the highway, police said.
The men and machines of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are working to clear the highway of landslides and make it motorable but the continuous heavy rains is making the task of clearance of landslides on the highway difficult, they said.
Over 1000 vehicles are stranded at various places at Jammu, Udhampur, Banihal, Ramban, Batote and Patnitop areas of the highway.
“700 trucks are stranded at Ramsoo. Our first priority will be to allow stranded vehicles to proceed towards their destination on Saturday and then allow trucks carrying essential supplies from Jammu to Srinagar ,” DIG Traffic Ashkoor Wani told Kashmir Reader.
He said no passenger vehicles will be allowed to ply on the highway.
As a result of closure of the highway, over 500-600 Kashmir-bound passengers are stranded at the Jammu bus stand for the past three days and are demanding that they be airlifted to Kashmir.
They have also held protests against the government and demanded that they be provided boarding and lodging facilities.
Meanwhile, the Batote-Doda-Kishtwar inter-district road has been closed for traffic in view of landslides at different places, they said, adding efforts are being made to restore the road for traffic.