Highway restoration to take 5 days

Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway continued to remain suspended on Monday as a bridge collapsed near Kelamorh on Sunday evening.

A traffic advisory said the highway is closed due to sudden damage of a bridge at Kelamorh, Ramban.

“It will take at least 5 days to repair the damaged bridge as stated by NHAI. However Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Magerkot-Banihal, and Banihal-Qazigund stretches are through for traffic people are requested to take their journey accordingly,” the advisory said.

PTI adds: “The construction company concerned has started the restoration work on the damaged portion of the road but it will take at least five days to complete the work,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic), National Highway, Jatinder Singh Jowhar  He said a 16-metre retaining wall of a bridge collapsed, which led to the sinking of a 15-metre road, rendering the highway unsafe.

The officers of the Ramban district administration along with officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) rushed to the spot, which is located adjacent to an under-construction tunnel, to devise a strategy for an early restoration of the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country.

The SSP said the restoration work is going on in full swing and all out efforts are being made to ensure the traffic operation on the highway is resumed early.

The highway was opened for traffic only on Sunday after remaining closed for seven days following heavy snowfall and multiple landslides triggered by incessant rains.

Most of the Kashmir-bound vehicles had reached their destination when the road caved in near Ramban, leaving only a few hundred vehicles stranded, the officials said, adding most of them, including trucks carrying essential supplies to Kashmir, were stopped at various places including Jammu and Udhampur districts.

The SSP said there is no restriction on the movement of traffic between Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Magerkot-Banihal and Banihal-Qazigund stretches.