Banihal: The strategically important Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was reopened partially this evening after remaining closed for over 44 hours, in a relief to passengers who were left stranded due to a massive landslide, officials said.
The landslide blocked the 270-km highway at Ramsoo in Ramban district early Saturday. A major road clearance operation was launched immediately after the landslide but intermittent rains hampered the early reopening of the arterial road.
“After hectic efforts, the road was cleared for one-way traffic this evening and accordingly the stranded vehicles are being allowed towards their respective destinations,” the officials said.
They said the road clearance operation was still going on in full swing to remove the remaining debris.
Earlier in the day, the authorities used explosives to blast the huge rocks which had rolled down on the highway.
“No vehicle was allowed to move from either Jammu or Srinagar on the highway for the second day this morning,” the officials had said.
Over 900 vehicles including those carrying passengers got stranded on the highway after the closure of the road on Saturday.
Many vehicles returned to the places of their origin but those which remained stranded at different places along the highway were moved to safer places and their passengers accommodated in shelter sheds and provided meals, the officials said.
They said senior civil and police officers including the district development commissioner are personally monitoring the road clearance operation and ensured that all stranded passengers are provided meals besides night shelter at designated places.
The officials said the decision to allow traffic from Jammu and Srinagar tomorrow would be taken after reviewing the latest situation later tonight. They requested commuters to contact traffic control rooms before starting their journey on the highway.
DC conducts road clearance operation at Ramsoo
Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Showkat Aijaz Bhat alongwith SSP, Anita Sharma personally monitored the day-night road clearance operation at Moum Passi area of Ramsoo Sub-division after a massive landslide blocked the 270-km highway at Ramsoo, an official statement said.
The DC, it said, ensured that all stranded passengers are provided with the facilities of night shelter and meals at designated places besides requesting the commuters to contact traffic control rooms before starting their journey on the highway.
The DC informed that the road clearance operation is in full swing despite of intermittent rains. Adequate men and machinery being put into work for removing huge rocks that were rolled down on the highway, the DC said, adding that, efforts are on to make the highway traffic worthy in the shortest possible time.