Amid Petrol Crisis, Highway Remains Closed

SRINAGAR —Amid mounting fuel crisis with complete shortage of petrol, the Srinagar-Jammu Highway remained closed on Tuesday following a major landslide triggered by incessant rains in Ramban district, officials said.

Efforts are on to restore the 270-km highway, the only road linking Kashmir with rest of the world- which was blocked near Moum-Passi in Ramsu area, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded, the officials said.

Around three inches of fresh snowfall was experienced overnight around Jawahar Tunnel - the gateway to Kashmir, while rest of the highway was lashed by heavy rains.

The traffic authorities said they were unsure about the re-opening of Srinagar-Jammu highway immediately amid unabated shooting stones and “sinking” of road at few places in Ramban district.

IGP traffic Alok Kumar said that due to landslides and shooting stones, the thoroughfare is continuously blocked.

 “Yesterday at 9:30 p.m. there were landslides at Mompassi in Ramsoo and shooting stones are continuing and there was massive landslide at 5 a.m. in the morning,” he said, adding, “This morning, road also started to sink in Ramban market and road clearance is going on from last 35 hours.”  

At Mompassi, he said, unabated shooting stones and bad weather was hampering the road clearance.

 “Around 100 oil tanker ate stranded at Chanderkote, Chennai, Nashri, Ramban and as soon as the road is cleared, they will be allowed,” he said. Asked when the road would be cleared, “ he said, “We cannot say anything with surety as it would be road maintenance agency who can say something regarding it.  “The weather is also inclement as rains continue,” he added. 

Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Showkat Aijaz Bhat said that road is sinking near JK Bank and “I myself inspected the spot.” 

Meanwhile, an official said that fissure on road has widened while houses were at the risk of sinking. They said that even local transport through the road stretch has been stopped.  

Hundreds of vehicles were also left stranded at various places on the highway after the closure of the road.

A large number of stranded passengers bypassed the landslide hit area by crossing a stream by foot to reach their destination, while over 500 passengers were provided accommodation at various passenger sheds in Banihal on Monday night, the officials said.

They said the vehicles, which were stranded in vulnerable areas from Sherbibi to Ramsu, were taken to Banihal to avoid any untoward incident.


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