One-way traffic restored on Kashmir highway


One-way traffic has been restored on Tuesday after remaining suspended for a day due to landslides on 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
However, the national highway, linking Ladakh with Kashmir and historic Mughal road besides Phirkiyan top and Razdan pass remained closed.
Traffic on the Kashmir highway was suspended following landslides at Maroog, Ramban, yesterday when traffic was plying from Jammu to Srinagar. About 700 to 800 Kashmir-bound vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials got stranded at different places on the highway after the landslides.
However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), maintaining the highway, immediately pressed into service sophisticated machines to clear the landslides and put through the traffic, an official of Traffic Control Unit (TCU), Ramban told.
He said the landslides were cleared and traffic was allowed only early this morning. The stranded vehicles were allowed to move towards Kashmir valley. However, he said since only one-way traffic would continue to ply on the highway till further orders, today vehicles will ply from Srinagar to Jammu.
‘We are in the process of clearing stranded vehicles, particularly those carrying passengers, from Jammu and also allowed light vehicles from Srinagar today,’ he said, adding that heavy vehicles from Srinagar will be allowed later in the day after reviewing the road condition.
Meanwhile, a massive snow clearance operation was in progress in the national highway, linking Ladakh with Kashmir. It may take several weeks to put through the highway, closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions, the official said.
Snow clearance operation has also been started on 86-km-long historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. The road was closed in December last year following heavy snowfall at Pir-ki-Gali and other areas.
Dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) remained cut off with their district and tehsil headquarters due to closure of Razdan pass and Phirkiyan top in north Kashmir. However, the Sadhna top and Z-Gali are open for traffic.
The Razdan pass, connecting Bandipora with border town of Gurez, Neeru and other far-flung and remote villages, mostly near LoC surrounded by Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) from three sides, remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. The road is likely to reopen next month, a Police Control Room (PCR) official told. There is also a threat of avalanche in the area, he said.
Phirkiyan pass was still closed though snow clearance operation was going on. Last week, a BRO driver was killed in a snow avalanche at Phirkiyan. Traffic on the road, connecting dozens of far-flung and remote villages, will be allowed once a green signal is received from concern authorities, an official of PCR at Kupwara said.