Srinagar-Jammu highway reopens after 65 hours

After remaining closed for about 65 hours, the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was reopened for traffic on Saturday at 11 AM, with authorities saying that the stranded vehicles were being cleared.

The road had been closed at about 6 PM on Wednesday, sources said.

“The road was reopened today after remaining closed for three consecutive days,” Inspector General of Police, Traffic, Alok Kumar, told Greater Kashmir.

He said that at different places along the highway about 7,000 vehicles were stranded. “We are clearing the stranded vehicles; the fresh traffic has not been allowed to ply so far.”

Kumar said that about traffic on Sunday— otherwise convoy day— the decision will be taken later. “Probably the traffic will ply from Jammu to Srinagar,” he said.

The highway was closed Wednesday following massive landslides at Digdol along the 300-km-long road—the only surface link of Kashmir with rest of the world.

Officials of the traffic department said the traffic on the road was affected several times on Saturday due shooting stones.

They said over 3,000 vehicles including trucks carrying essential commodities and oil tankers, besides passengers, were stranded around Digdol, where massive landslide had hit the road. “Most of them have been cleared,” they said.

Traffic officials said that although the road was cleared for traffic late Friday evening, but after fresh landslides near Digdole in Ramban it was again closed for traffic. “The landslides continued on Saturday as well hampering the clearance process.”

Officials said men and machinery from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway cleared the landslides, allowing the stranded vehicles to move.

Traffic officials said the Mughal Road and the Srinagar-Leh highway were also open for traffic. “At some places smaller landslides blocked the Mughal Road, but they were later cleared,” they said, adding that on the Mughal Road the traffic plied from Srinagar to Rajouri.

RAINS FOR NEXT 24 HOURS

Meanwhile, intermittent light rains lashed many parts of Kashmir during last night even as Meteorological department predicted more precipitation during next 24 hours.

Most parts of Kashmir, including summer capital Srinagar, received intermittent rains during last night, an official of the local meteorological office here said.

Officials said that there are likely chances of light to moderate rains at most places in Kashmir during next 24 hours.