Highway re-opened briefly, closed again

No decision yet on restoring traffic on Mughal Road

Sumit Bhargav
Jammu/Rajouri, Publish Date: Dec 19 2018 12:23AM | Updated Date: Dec 19 2018 2:02AM
Highway re-opened briefly, closed againGK Photo

The Srinagar-Jammu highway was Tuesday re-opened for light motor vehicles (LMVs) briefly but had to be closed again following a landslide in Gangroo area, a senior traffic police officer said.

“The road was re-opened today but only some LMVs were able to traverse before its closure again following a landside in Gangroo area,” superintendent of traffic police (rural), Muzaffar Ahmad Shah told Greater Kashmir.

Efforts are on to clear the massive landslide, he said, adding that hundreds of vehicles are still stranded on the road.

Traffic on the 300-km-long highway—the only surface link of Kashmir with rest of the world—was suspended Monday following landslides in Ramban, according to an official source.

The historic Mughal Road connecting Kashmir with Poonch and Rajouri districts as well as the highway connecting Ladakh with the Valley continue to remain closed for the past nine days.

An official said snow has frozen at some places on the Mughal Road, making it very slippery.

On the Srinagar-Leh highway, he said a large number of Kashmir-bound vehicles, including empty trucks and oil tankers are stranded at Drass, Kargil and other places on the other side of Zojila Pass.

“Some vehicles have also been stopped on this side of the Zojila pass in Ganderbal district,” the official said.

Meanwhile cold conditions continued to persist across Kashmir and Ladakh, though there was some respite in the Jammu region.

A meteorological department official said the night temperature settled at a low of minus 4.6 degree Celsius in Srinagar.

“It will go further down in coming days because of clear skies,” he said, adding that Kargil in Ladakh region was the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir as the minimum temperature there dipped to minus 15.8 degree Celsius.

The mercury in Leh dipped to minus 15.1 degree Celsius, the official said.

However, in Jammu, the night temperature improved slightly after continuous dip over the past week.

The Jammu city recorded an increase of 0.7 degree Celsius in the night temperature to settle at 5.1 degree Celsius, the official said, adding that despite the slight improvement, the night temperature continued to remain four degrees below normal.

Meanwhile, officials said on Tuesday that traffic on the Mughal Road may be allowed within next one or two days as the traffic police are awaiting a green signal by the Mughal Road Project authorities.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, superintendent of traffic police (Jammu rural), Mushtaq Chowdhary said that traffic will only be allowed after a written communication is made by the concerned road authority.

“Mughal road project authorities will have to write to us that the road is fit for vehicular traffic. The movement of vehicles will be allowed only thereafter,” he said.

Meanwhile, executive engineer of Mughal Road Project, Maqbool Hussain, said a safety audit of the road has been conducted and a communication has been sent to the higher authorities.

“We informed the higher authorities on Tuesday evening that the road is fit for movement of vehicles. A communication to the traffic police is likely to be sent within next 24 hours,” he said.

“We are hopeful that traffic will be restored in next one or two days”, he said.

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