SRINAGAR - Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was suspended on Monday to undertake major repair work and road widening.
Traffic on the highway was resumed only on Sunday after remaining suspended for 18 hours due to landslides and shooting stones.
Meanwhile, despite massive snow clearance operation, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained closed due to heavy snowfall since November 6.
We have suspended all traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway on Monday, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alok Kumar said this morning.
No vehicle will be allowed from Jammu or Srinagar today, he said adding the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has undertaken a massive repair work of the road which has been badly damaged due to recently landslides and shooting stones, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, including at Digdol, he said.
The IGP said the agencies are also working on road widening at several places.
Traffic on Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed on Friday night following landslides between Ramban and Ramsu. However, the highway was put through only on Sunday morning after 18 hours.
The highway, the only lifeline of Kashmir, often gets closed due to landslides and shooting stones since NHAI started widening of the road. However, traffic on the highway also gets disrupted due to snowfall during winter.
The frequent closure of the highway leads to shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables and other essentials in the valley, where prices of essentials besides airfare also witness sharp increase when the highway closes.
A massive snow clearance operation was going on to put through the Mughal road, which has been closed on November 6 due to heavy snowfall.
Snow clearance operation was badly affected due to fresh snowfall, official said, adding it may take some more days to allow traffic provided there is no more snow. The road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway, remained closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall.
Dozens of villages remain cut off
Border towns of Keran, Karnah and Machil besides dozens of other far flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) remained cut off from their district headquarters in north Kashmir due to accumulation of several feet of snow.
Meanwhile, the border town of Gurez and Neeru which are surrounded by Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) from three sides also remained cut off from district headquarter Bandipora due to about five feet of snow at Razdan pass.
Snow clearance operation has been started to put through the road which remained closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall. The government has already approved construction of a tunnel at Razdan pass to make it all weather road.
All the three main roads connecting border towns of Keran, Karnah and Machil with district headquarter Kupwara remained closed due to recent fresh snowfall.
There was about two feet of fresh snowfall at Sadhna pass, Phirkhiyan and other passes last week due to which traffic on all three roads was suspended, an official of Police Control Room (PCR) told UNI over phone on Monday.
He said dozens of other far flung and remote villages, including those near LoC, also remained cut off from their tehsil and district headquarter.
However, he said massive snow clearance operations have already been started to put through these roads.
Majority of these roads remained closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.