J&K highway shut for second straight day

Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was suspended for the second consecutive day on Wednesday as landslides triggered by incessant rains blocked the arterial road at over a dozen places in Ramban district, officials said.

Road clearance agencies have pressed their men and machinery and efforts are on to ensure early restoration of the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, the officials said.

The highway was closed on Tuesday following snowfall in the high altitude areas and incessant rains in the plains in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir over the past three days.

 The Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to the Kashmir valley along the highway – also experienced an inch of snowfall on Tuesday morning but the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has cleared the road stretch.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Traffic (National Highway Ramban), Parul Bhardwaj said landslides and shooting of stones form the hillocks overlooking the highway had blocked the road at 14 places between Nashri and Banihal.

“Road clearance operation is in progress at all the effected places and we are hopeful of clearing the debris at most of the places by this evening,” the officer told PTI.

However, he said a massive landslide spread over 600 metres at Mihard pose a major challenge.

A truck is also stranded in the middle and efforts are on to pull it out.
He said there has been a slight improvement in the weather this morning but the skies still remain overcast.

A spokesperson of the Meteorological department said there will be a significant decrease in the amount of rainfall but the system would prevail over Jammu and Kashmir till this evening.

Besides Mihard and Cafeteria Morh, the official said the highway is blocked at Chamba Seari, Sita Ram passi, Marog, Battery Cheshma, Anokhi fall, Digdole, Panthiyal, Moum Passi, Gangroo, Salaad, Sherbibi, Shabanbass and Chamalwas.