Srinagar-Jammu highway closed for second day

Over 3000 vehicles stranded

Jammu: Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for the second consecutive day on Thursday after heavy rains in the Banihal-Ramban section triggered five landslides, leaving over 3,000 vehicles stranded at various places on the route, officials said.
The traffic on the highway was suspended on Wednesday evening after heavy rains triggered shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the arterial road in Ramban district, officials said.
“Highway is closed. There have been five landslides triggered by rains at various places in Banihal-Ramban section of highway”, a traffic police official told PTI.
As result of which, over 3000 vehicles mostly trucks were stranded at various places on higheay at Jammu, Nagrota, Udhampur, Ramban, Chenani, Batote and Banihal and Kathua, they said.
The 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, was closed around 5.15 pm on Wednesday, the officials said.
Heavy rains lashed Jammu-Srinagar national highway throughout the day with Banihal on this side of the Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to Kashmir – receiving 19.6 mm of rainfall, they said, adding the highway town of Qazigund on the other side recorded 24.8 mm of rainfall during the day. A hailstorm also hit Banihal and adjoining areas.
The officials said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is working to clear snow from the highway.
Meanwhile, weather improved in Valley a day after incessant rains and snowfall.
The higher reaches and some areas in the plains of Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall which began on Wednesday and continued through the night, the official said.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded about 10 inches of fresh snowfall during the night, he said.
Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded 11 inches of snow, while Qazigund and Kokernag both in the south — received five inches and seven inches of snowfall respectively, the official said.
He said Srinagar and the areas around it recorded about two centimetres of snowfall.
There are reports of snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the valley including Zojilla Pass, Amarnath Cave, Sonamarg, Gurez and Mughal Road, he added.
The Meteorological Department has forecast mainly dry weather in Kashmir till December 10.

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