Highway re-opens for 1-way traffic after 7-day closure

Rains lash Kashmir plains, fresh snowfall in higher reaches; Div Com issues fresh avalanche warning

The Srinagar-Jammu highway was Tuesday re-opened for traffic after seven days of its continued closure, bringing much-needed relief to the stranded truckers and passengers who had lambasted the administration for “failing to take care of their wellbeing”.

“The road has been re-opened for one-way traffic,” inspector general of traffic police, Alok Kumar, said.

He, however, hastened to add that light snowfall has started at two places along the highway but “we will try to let more and more vehicles carrying essentials proceed towards the Valley”.

At the time Kumar talked to Greater Kashmir, he said 300 tankers carrying petroleum products and 250 light-motor vehicles had crossed Maroog and were moving towards Jawahar tunnel.

“Intermittent shooting stones and landslides are still occurring on the road,” he said, adding that a constable from district police Ramban got injured due to shooting stones.

A traffic police official said several landslides occurred overnight at Anokhi fall, Kella-Morh and Panthiyal.

“The debris was cleared very quickly,” he said, adding that a massive landslide at Maroog was also cleared swiftly.

The highway was closed Wednesday after rains and snow triggered landslides along the road.

Meanwhile, parts of Kashmir including its higher reaches experienced fresh snowfall from late Tuesday evening, while rains lashed the plains in the afternoon.

A meteorological department official said Srinagar recorded light rains, Qazigund 0.4mm rain/snow, Pahalgam 0.8mm, Kupwara 6.2mm and Gulmarg 8.2mm.

“Widespread over Kashmir, fairly widespread over Jammu and scattered light to moderate rain/snow over Ladakh, is expected during next 24 hours,” the official said.

Meanwhile, divisional administration Kashmir issued an avalanche warning, valid for next 24 hours, for hilly and avalanche-prone areas of Kashmir Valley, Leh and Kargil districts.

“Avalanche warning valid from February 12 (1700 hrs) to February 13 (1700 hrs) exists for avalanche-prone areas in Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Kulgam, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts,” an official spokesman said.

The concerned deputy commissioners have been asked to take precautionary measures in their respective districts and advise people not to venture in avalanche prone areas during the aforementioned period and to keep SDRF, police and para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident, the spokesman said.