450 Vehicles Stranded On Banihal Highway

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Over 450 vehicles, including trucks laden with essential commodities, passenger vehicles and small private cars are stranded along the Srinagar-Jammu highway that was closed for traffic on Friday morning due to the landslides triggered by heavy overnight rains.

According to the officials, landslides and shooting stones occurred at vulnerable areas along the 270-km Srinagar-Jammu highway on Friday due to incessant overnight rains, prompting the authorities to suspend both way traffic on the strategic road link, connecting Kashmir with rest of the country.

The officials said that the highway was blocked at several places between Nashri and Banihal, including Cafeteria Morh and Sita Ram Passi between Maroog and Kela Morh due to landslides, mudslides and shooting stones triggered by overnight rains.

“Since morning, we have been working continuously to throw open highway for traffic. Our men and machinery are making hectic efforts. However, the incessant rains and shooting stones are hampering our operations,”
Senior Superintendent of Police (highway), Shabir Ahmad Malik told Kashmir Observer.

Malik, who is supervising the clearance operation, said that 450 vehicles, including trucks laden with essentials, passenger and light motor vehicles were stranded at various places along the highway.

“Until rain stops, this road will not be thrown open. And I doubt if the road will be through for traffic tomorrow because of the inclement weather,” he said.
According to officials, the stranded traffic will be allowed to move towards their destinations once the road becomes motorable again.

Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Mussarat Islam also inspected the road clearance operation at various places along the highway and took stock of provisions made for providing meals and night shelter to stranded passengers at RAHAT Centres.

The DC directed executing agencies to depute adequate men and machinery to clear landslides instantly and make the road traffic worthy, an official spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Mughal Road, which connects the valley to Jammu division through Shopian-Rajouri axis, was also closed by the unseasonal heavy snowfall from Friday night.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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