Srinagar-Jammu highway closed again, Leh, Mughal roads still shut

Traffic on the national highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was again closed on Friday following fresh landslides and shooting stones late Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Leh national highway and historic 86-km-long Mughal road and Anantnag-Kishtwar roads remained closed for the past ten days on Friday due to accumulation of several feet of snow and slippery road condition.

There were fresh landslides and shooting stones at Sheer Bibi late last night, forcing authorities to suspend the traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, a traffic police official told UNI this morning.

He said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) immediately pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to remove the debris from the highway.

For the second consecutive day today traffic was to ply from Jammu to Srinagar, he said, adding that traffic will be allowed once a green signal is received that landslides have been removed and road is safe for journey.

Decision to allow traffic from Jammu to Srinagar for the second day today was taken to allow more than 800 Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) stopped at different places in Jammu region to move as there is forecast for more snow from this evening.

He said only one-way traffic will ply on the highway till further orders as the road at several places is very narrow where only one vehicle can pass at a time. “If any vehicle comes from opposite direction, entire traffic comes to halt badly hitting normal movement of vehicles on the highway”, he said and appealed to people to strictly follow the advisory being issued by the traffic department daily. However, drivers and people travelling on the highway alleged that there is traffic jam for hours almost daily between Qazigund to Ramsu.

He appealed to people to contact Traffic Control Units (TCUs) at Srinagar, Jammu and Ramban before starting journey on the highway.

There was no change in the situation as Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed for the past ten days on Friday due to accumulation of snowfall and slippery road conditions. The snow clearance operation was going on from both sides, he said adding there was several feet of snow accumulated at several places on the Mughal road. There is a forecast for fresh snowfall in the Jammu and Kashmir from this evening.

The 434-km-long national highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir also remained closed for the past ten days on Friday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. There are four to six feet of snow accumulated at Zojila and other places on the highway. The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, has already announced closure of the highway for winter months. However, UT Ladakh said they were not consulted before announcing closure of the highway.