Kashmir highway reopens for traffic

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Banihal (JK): The Jammu-Srinagar highway was reopened for traffic after weather improved Tuesday, with over 200 stranded vehicles including 55 carrying passengers left Banihal for Kashmir, officials said.
The nearly 300-km arterial road, was closed for vehicular traffic yesterday after various parts of the highway including Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to Kashmir – experienced about two feet of snowfall.
Snowfall, coupled with landslides and shooting of stones triggered by incessant rains at several places including Panthyal, Ramsoo and Anokhifal, forced the closure of the highway, leaving over 800 trucks and passenger vehicles stranded.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Highway) Vishal Manhas said over 200 vehicles including 55 passenger vehicles stranded at Banihal were allowed towards Kashmir after the Qazigund-Banihal stretch was cleared of snow this afternoon.
However, a landslide at Nashri this morning slowed down the clearance operation but the agencies concerned cleared the road after hectic efforts.
“No vehicle was allowed from either Srinagar or Jammu for the second day today,” he said, adding a decision to reopen the road for traffic tomorrow will be taken once the stranded vehicles are cleared.
Snowfall, ranging between five inches to two feet, was reported in the high altitude areas of Jammu region, while the winter capital and other plains were lashed by incessant rain yesterday and through the night resulting in drop in the mercury. PTI