One-way traffic on Kashmir highway
SRINAGAR: The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic Mughal road remained closed for the 7th day on Wednesday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.
However, the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through for one-way traffic, a traffic police official said.
He said traffic remained suspended on Ladakh highway due to accumulation of several feet of snow. The road has become slippery as snow has also frozen at several places due to below freezing temperature. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men on the job to put through the highway. However, it will take some more time and traffic will be resumed only after weather and road condition improves, he said. Snow clearance operation was going on from both Meenmarg and Sonamarg.
Meanwhile, large number of Ladakh bound vehicles, particularly trucks carrying essential commodities and oil tankers, are stranded at Sonamarg in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal since Thursday. Similarly, Kashmir bound empty trucks and oil tankers are stranded at several places, including Drass, Kargil and Meenmarg on other side of the Zojila. No traffic will be allowed on the highway until a green signal is received from traffic police officials posted at different places and BRO since there is now threat of avalanches also, he said.
Traffic remained suspended on the Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region as snow clearance operation could not be completed so far.
He said snow clearance operation was going on from both sides. However, due to below freezing temperature particularly during the night, snow had frozen due to which the road has become slippery particularly at Pir-ki-Gali. The district administration of Rajouri and Poonch and Shopian are working to put through the road which remained closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall. Only few kms are left where the snow clearance was going on. The Government of India has already announced to construct a tunnel to make it all weather road, which is also seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
He said only one-way traffic will ply on Srinagar-Jammu national highway on Wednesday. Today traffic will ply from Jammu to Srinagar only and no vehicle from opposite direction will be allowed, he added.
Meanwhile, the 80-km-long road linking the border town of Gurez near the Line of Control (LoC) with district headquarter Bandipora was on Wednesday put through after remaining closed for five days due to heavy snowfall.
An official spokesperson said that Bandipora-Gurez road was thrown open on Wednesday after clearance of snow from Razdan Paas and other places along the 80-km-long stretch.
“Till Tragbal the road is open for two way traffic. From Tragbal to Dawar only one-way traffic has been allowed,” he said.
The road was closed on Friday following slippery road conditions and accumulation of heavy snow at Razdan Paas and other parts of the roads.
Meanwhile, all other passes and tops, connecting remote areas, including those near the LoC, were reopened on Tuesday for traffic in north Kashmir after remaining closed for four days due to heavy snowfall.