Jammu-Srinagar national highway shut for maintenance work

Banihal: The Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the second consecutive day on Sunday as authorities decided to carry out maintenance work and did not allow any fresh vehicular traffic from either side, officials said.

The 270-km highway, which is the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was blocked by a massive landslide near Higni-Ramsoo in Ramban district around 9 am on Saturday, leaving thousands of Jammu-bound vehicles stranded.

After a day-long hectic effort, the highway was cleared of the blockade and some stranded vehicles late on Saturday, the officials said.

However, they said no fresh vehicle was either allowed from Jammu or Srinagar on Sunday to allow maintenance of the road which was damaged by the landslides and shooting stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway at various places between Panthiyal and Ramsoo over the past week.

In view of maintenance of the highway, no vehicular movement including that of security forces was allowed from either side of the highway on Sunday, a traffic department official said adding that the Jammu-bound stranded vehicles would be cleared first once the road is made navigable again.

He said a decision to allow the vehicular traffic would be taken later in the day after a fresh review of the condition of the road and weather prediction.

The weatherman has forecast widespread rain and snow across Jammu and Kashmir over the next two days.

The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from Srinagar and Jammu since December last year in view of the ongoing work on the four-laning highway project.

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