Srinagar: Fresh traffic was on Saturday allowed to ply on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, after clearing valley-bound vehicles, which were stranded on the highway since Thursday due to bad road condition.
Meanwhile, snow clearance operation was going on from both sides of the Zojila pass on Srinagar-Leh National Highway which is closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow.
Traffic also remained suspended since December last year on historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. The Anantnag-Kishtwar road also remained shut for the past four months.
“We have allowed fresh traffic on Kashmir valley on Saturday from Srinagar to Jammu,” a traffic police official told UNI.
He said fresh traffic was allowed on Srinagar-Jammu road after clearing on Friday hundreds of vehicles which got stranded on the highway on Thursday.
He said on Saturday both Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) were allowed from Srinagar to Jammu on the highway with some restrictions.
“The cutoff time for LMVs to pass Pantha Chowk Bypass in Srinagar was between 0600 hrs to 1000 hrs. “The vehicles have to pass Qazigund between 0700 hrs to 1130 hrs,” he said, adding no vehicle will be allowed to pass these areas after the cutoff time.
Frequent landslides and shooting stone has become a routine on the highway, forcing authorities to suspend traffic as a precautionary measure keeping in view the safety of passengers, official sources said.
They said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for widening of the road and its maintenance, are working almost round the clock to clear the landslides and shooting stones.
However, frequent suspension of traffic on the highway has badly hit the people of Kashmir valley, including fruit traders, who find it difficult to transport their apples to different parts of the country. People are facing acute shortage of essentials, including vegetables, meat and chicken as valley entirely dependent on imports from different northern states.