Rajouri, Sep 15: Vehicular movement on Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway (NH 144A) remained suspended for over five hours on Friday after flash floods in nearby rivulet, triggered by overnight heavy rains, washed away a culvert, built alongside a bridge construction site at Rajal Top in Nowshera.
The highway was closed for traffic at around 6 am and vehicular movement was restored after 11 am.
Officials said, “At Rajal Top, the concerned agency is running a project for construction of a bridge as a part of ongoing up-gradation of NH 144A. Main stretch of highway at this location is presently closed for traffic whereas a small culvert was built alongside the highway at this location to facilitate movement of vehicles. Vehicles have been plying over this culvert (serving as an alternate to NH stretch) for the last around one month.”
They said that heavy rainfall, during the intervening night of September 14 and 15, triggered flash flood in the nearby rivulet leading to washing away of the culvert. This resulted in closure of the highway.
“Due to the damaged culvert, hundreds of vehicles got stranded on both sides of the affected site. The people travelling could be seen in a state of panic in a bid to reach their destinations timely,” officials said.
They added, “The concerned agency, executing highway upgradation work, pressed its men and machinery into work and the highway was restored for traffic after a gap of five hours.”
DTI Traffic Nowshera division, Ajaz Mirza said that after closure of highway, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and private vehicles were diverted to Rajouri and Jammu via Nowshera-Seri-Beripattan road while heavy vehicles and passenger vehicles were diverted to Rajouri-Kalakote-Siot road.
On the other hand, the movement of vehicles on National Highway also remained suspended at Kallar near Rajouri after a truck was stuck in a muddy pothole.
Officials said that the truck carrying goods was on its way to Rajouri from Jammu when it was stuck in a muddy pothole at Kallar resulting in the closure of the highway.
The truck was later removed from the highway and it (highway) was restored for traffic after a gap of one hour.
National Highway 144A from Jammu to Rajouri-Poonch is presently under upgradation to two-lane with paved shoulder from Akhnoor to Poonch.
Due to ongoing work, slippery conditions as well as big potholes on the stretch often affect movement of vehicles on the highway.