Srinagar: In a major relief for stranded passengers, one-way traffic was on Sunday allowed to ply on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, connecting Kashmir with rest of the country, after remaining suspended for six days due to frequent landslides, shooting stones.
However, the national highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained closed due to accumulation of several feet of snow, which has now frozen due to below freezing point temperature.
“One-way light vehicular traffic was allowed on Kashmir highway from Jammu to Srinagar on Sunday morning,” a traffic police official told UNI.
The national highway was closed on January 21 following heavy snowfall in the Jawahar Tunnel area, gateway to the valley, and multiple landslides and shooting stones, triggered by the incessant rains between Banihal and Ramban over the past about week.
Traffic was allowed for a brief period last evening only to be suspended again due to fresh landslides and shooting stones. However, Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, pressed into service sophisticated machine and men and cleared the road for one-way traffic.
Several thousand Kashmir passengers, including women and children, who were stranded at Jammu and other places, held demonstrations over the past couple of days against the administration for its alleged failure to make necessary arrangements for their stay.
Leaders of different political parties visited Jammu bus stand and met the stranded passengers, who are demanding airlifting to Kashmir.
Meanwhile, a large number of trucks, loaded with fruit and empty oil tankers, have been stopped at Qazigund in south Kashmir for the past about a week.
The 434-km-national highway, the only road linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir, remained closed due to accumulation of snow which has now frozen for the past about two months. “Fresh snowfall was also received at Sonamarg, Zojila pass, Zero point and Meenmarg on the highway during the past 24 hours,” traffic spokesman said, adding the road between Kargil, the border town on the highway, to Leh was through. The road is likely to reopen in March or April.
The historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also received fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours. The road is closed for the past two months due to accumulation of snow and slippery road condition.
The Anantnag, in south Kashmir, to Kishtwar in Jammu road also remained closed due to accumulation of snow.