After remaining closed for four days following landslides, the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was reopened for vehicular traffic on Thursday evening, officials said. Thousands of vehicles were stranded on the highway as heavy snowfall caused landslides at some places.
The only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, the highway was closed on Monday after snowfall across Jawahar Tunnel and multiple landslides in Banihal-Ramban sector. It’s closure causes shortage of essential supplies in the valley leading to a lot of inconvenience to the people.
Banihal Deputy Superintendent of Police Shamsher Singh said restoration work was started after improvement in weather conditions on Thursday.
He said 200 stranded trucks on way to Jammu and near about 100 LMVs stranded at Ramban were allowed to move to Srinagar, which will be followed by allowing the stranded Srinagar-bound vehicles.
There were 85 light motor vehicles, 3,000 trucks and other heavy vehicles stranded on the highway. First, the light motor vehicles were allowed to move and then the stranded trucks will be permitted to move, said police.
“Our priority is to clear the back log of the stranded vehicles before the normal resumption of traffic on the highway”, Muzaffar Ahmed, Superintendent of Police (Rural) was quoted by news agency IANS as saying.
He furthers said, “This year the highway has closed on multiple occasions due to land slides triggered by incessant rains. The most vulnerable patch is Digdol, 150 kms from Jammu.”
After heavy snowfall for two consecutive days, the valley has witnessed a break since Thursday. But, this has brought a drop in the night temperature, which continue to remain sub zero, around minus one degree in Srinagar.
The freezing night temperature has converted snow into sheets of ice on the roads at many places in the valley making them slippery and causing difficulties for the pedestrians.