'4000 stranded vehicles cleared along Jammu-Srinagar highway'

Thousands of stranded vehicles were cleared off the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Wednesday despite rocks sliding intermittently from a hillock overlooking the strategic road, officials said.

The 270-km highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed for vehicular traffic on Tuesday morning following multiple landslides in Digdole area of Ramban district.

The highway was reopened for vehicles early Wednesday after a 15-hour clearance operation but a fresh slide and intermittent shooting of stones hampered the movement of traffic, the officials said.

“The movement of vehicles was better compared to the previous couple of days. Over 4,000 stranded vehicles were cleared from both sides during the day,” Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic, in Ramban, Suresh Sharma said.

Vehicles on the highway usually run alternatively from the twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu in view of the ongoing four-laning.

Residents blamed construction companies for the frequent closure of the highway, alleging that the poorly planned and slow pace of work are the main reasons for the present status of the highway.

Several videos, meanwhile, are making rounds on the social media showing stranded commuters risking their lives to cross the landslide-hit areas. “We are taking extreme precautions while allowing the vehicles through the problematic zones,” Sharma said, requesting the commuters to cooperate with the traffic police to avoid any untoward incident.