Despite intermittent landslides, shooting stones Kashmir highway open for one-way

Srinagar: Despite intermittent landslides and shooting stones, one-way traffic will ply on the national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road and national highway, linking Ladakh region with Kashmir remained closed since December due to accumulation of several feet snow which has now frozen due to which the road has become very slippery.
There is a forecast for widespread rain or snow for 48 hours in the Jammu and Kashmir from tomorrow which could again affect surface and air traffic.
The 300-km-long highway was open for only one-way on Tuesday when vehicle will ply from Srinagar to Jammu and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite directions, a traffic police official told UNI this morning.
He said, to avoid any traffic jam authorities have issued schedule for Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs). However, people travelling on the highway alleged that Banihal-Ramban stretch witness heavy traffic jam for hours almost daily because of mismanagement of traffic regulations.
Both LMVs and HMVs will ply from Srinagar to Jammu today when no vehicle, including security force convoy would be allowed from opposite direction, he said. Sudden intermittent landslides and shooting stones are taking place on the highway, particularly in Ramban and Ramsu area, including Penthal and Batery Cheshma. However, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisations (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway are immediately clearing the landslides and stones to allow traffic movement, he said.
A soldier was injured when a stone hit a vehicle at Penthal on Monday while a vehicle was damaged after hit by a stone in the same area this morning. However, no one was injured.
We have deployed personnel at different places, particularly in landslides and shooting stone prone areas on the highway to immediately stop traffic when there is a danger of shooting stones to avoid any accident, he said.
The Kashmir highway remained closed for six days due to accumulation of snow, landslides and shooting stones. The highway reopened on January 27 afternoon and majority stranded vehicles were cleared. Yesterday traffic was allowed from Jammu to Srinagar.
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 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. However, traffic was plying on the highway from border town of Kargil to Leh. People of Kargil and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, demanded construction of tunnel at Zojila pass to make it all weather road. The Government of India (GoI) has already sanctioned construction of tunnel. However, no contractor has so far come forward to construct it.
The Anantnag, in south Kashmir, to Kishtwar in Jammu road also remained closed due to accumulation of snow.



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