Full highway restoration likely in 10 days

After suspension of traffic on the 270-kilometre Srinagar- Jammu National Highway on Sunday due to sudden collapse of the retaining wall of a bridge near Ramban, the road continues to remain closed and may take 10 days to become motorable again, officials said on Tuesday. In a traffic advisory issued here, officials said repairing by concrete filling and settling of the concrete of the retaining wall is likely to take ten days.

“Jammu-Srinagar National Highway shall remain closed due to sudden collapse of retaining wall of a bridge near Kela Morh, Ramban on January 10 at 6:20 pm. Repairing by concrete filling and settling of the concrete for making it motorable may take approximately 10 days as per project director NHAI,” the Traffic advisory said .

Meanwhile, the traffic advisory said as an alternate arrangement, in order to restore connectivity on this arterial road, a Bailey bridge will be installed by the Border Roads Organisation. “In the interim, to restore connectivity a Bailey bridge is being launched by BRO,” the Traffic advisory said. The traffic police added that the Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Gool Sangaldan, Magerkot-Banihal, and Banihal-Qazigund stretches are open for local traffic.

It may be recalled that the highway was opened for one-way traffic last Saturday after remaining closed for a week due to heavy snowfall and landslides and shooting stones triggered by wet weather at many places. The Mughal Road, connecting Kashmir valley with the Pir Panchal region is also closed due to snow accumulation.

The administration has been at the receiving end for various loopholes in the maintenance of the highway. Earlier, a heavy snowfall in the Valley from January 3 to 6 had thrown normal life out of gear and snapped both surface and air traffic from the Valley for four consecutive days. Other essential services including power supply had also been affected due to the heavy snowfall.

The prolonged closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has now started affecting the smooth delivery of supplies to the Valley. The markets are already witnessing sky-rocketing of prices especially that of food items and vegetables.

However, officials said enough stocks of petroleum and cooking gas were available in the Valley to last for the time till traffic on the highway is restored.