Banihal/Jammu- The strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway was cleared for stranded vehicles on Monday as road clearance agencies pulled out a rice-loaded truck that was stuck in mud near Panthiyal in Ramban district for nearly 30 hours, officials said.
Senior Superintendent of Police, traffic, Shabir Ahmad Malik said 130 heavy motor vehicles and 10 oil tankers besides dozens of light motor vehicles, which were stranded on the highway, were allowed to move towards their destination after completion of the road clearance operation at Panthiyal, where the carriageway is single.
However, he said no fresh vehicle was either allowed from Jammu or Srinagar for the second day on Monday.
The traffic on the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, was suspended on Sunday following multiple landslides and shooting of stones from hillocks between Chanderkote and Ramsu and snowfall in Banihal sector.
While the road clearance agencies pressed its men and machines and cleared the highway of the obstacles, a truck loaded with rice got deeply embedded in the mud at Panthiyal and could not be moved.
The operation was called off late Sunday evening and was resumed this morning with fire and emergency service joining the effort which proved fruitful and the truck was pulled out around 1 pm, the officials said, adding the normal traffic is likely to resume Tuesday.
Officals said the helicopter service to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district was briefly resumed this morning after remaining suspended for the past two days.
Pilgrimage through the new track to the shrine was also affected due to landslides triggered by overnight rains.
The officials said the yatra to the shrine was continuing smoothly when last reports were received.
A spokesperson of the Meteorological department said Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine, recorded the highest 24.7 mm of rainfall during the past 24 hours till 8.30 am.
Bhaderwah town of Doda district in Jammu region recorded 7.4 cm snowfall during the same period, while Jammu city recorded a rainfall of 1.6 mm, the spokesperson said.
He said the minimum temperature recorded in Jammu was 7 degrees Celsius, Katra 6 degrees Celsius, Bhaderwah 0.2 degrees Celsius and Banihal zero degrees Celsius.
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