Jammu, Jan 7: Traffic police on Friday sent back around 300 Kashmir-bound Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs), including both passenger and private vehicles, from Nagrota to Jammu, in view of inclement weather conditions which triggered landslide at a number of places on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. However, the majority of stranded vehicles were cleared.
“As a routine, hundreds of LMVs reached Nagrota check point of Traffic Police so that they could proceed towards Srinagar from Jammu during morning hours. Initially stranded vehicles were partially allowed to ply on both sides of the Srinagar-Jammu National highway but later in the day, the vehicular traffic was stopped,” an official in Traffic Police told Greater Kashmir.
“As the weather condition worsened, vehicular traffic was stopped as it could have put lives of the people at risk due to landslides at various places ahead of Chanderkote. Hence, no vehicle was allowed to move further towards Ramban, Banihal or Kashmir valley,” the official said, adding that it would be unsafe to travel on the highway during night.
The LMVs were waiting for clearance, when the traffic police officials made announcements at Nagrota requesting the drivers and owners of private vehicles to return to Jammu and stay there till the improvement of weather conditions and clearance of the highway.
However, vehicles heading for Doda, Kishtwar, Reasi and Udhampur were allowed. An official said that 350 trucks were stranded on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in Udhampur district.
These trucks were stranded at Majalta, Manwal, Chenani, Tikri, Rehmbal etc on the highway in Udhampur district, said an official. He added, “Over 500 trucks were stranded earlier but they were gradually cleared.”
Speaking to Greater Kashmir, a passenger vehicle (Innova) driver Muhammed Ashraf said that he could manage to travel on the highway and it took 8 hours to reach Srinagar.
“It was a long risky drive. It is risky to drive on the highway ahead of Chanderkote because of shooting stones and landslides at various places,” he said.
He said that he was trying to leave Jammu by 8 am but traffic police did not allow him. “They asked me to return in view of the inclement weather conditions. However, we were allowed to proceed towards Srinagar at 10 am. We reached Srinagar by 4 pm,” he added but advised Kashmir-bound people to take weather clearance before travelling on the highway.
Meanwhile Umar Dillawar, an Innova driver told Greater Kashmir, “Some vehicles were allowed from Janipur. Passenger vehicles were stopped at Nagrota and Udhampur. However, some of the stranded LMV vehicles, including passenger vehicles, were permitted from Udhampur late afternoon to move towards Kashmir.”
“Hopefully, we will go to Srinagar tomorrow if the highway remains clear,” he added.
Besides, the authorities ordered the closure of Mallai Nallah road in Reasi due to a landslide. The road connects Mahore to Arnas in Reasi district. “The slide will be cleared and accordingly, the road will be opened for vehicular traffic,” officials said.
The officials further informed that a landslide had blocked a road at Barmeen area in Udhampur but it was restored later.