People relieved as highway re-opens after 5 days

After five days of its continued closure, the Srinagar-Jammu highway—the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the world—was thrown open for one-side traffic on Sunday, much to the relief of people.
People relieved as highway re-opens after 5 days
Photo: Mohammad Taskeen /GK

After five days of its continued closure, the Srinagar-Jammu highway—the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the world—was thrown open for one-side traffic on Sunday, much to the relief of people. The air traffic from Srinagar "International" Airport too resumed fully, even as weatherman predicted light snow and rains at isolated places in next 24 hours.

Officials said following improvement in weather on Sunday, the highway was cleared and one-way traffic was allowed from Jammu to Srinagar. The road was closed for traffic following heavy snowfall that started on Tuesday.

"The highway was thrown open for one-way traffic," Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic-Rural) Fayaz Ahmad Lone told Greater Kashmir.

He said 934 LMVs, 92 HMVs, 32 Oil Tankers, eight buses, 195 vehicles carrying essential supplies and 30 trucks loaded with sheep plied on the road on Sunday. 1291 other vehicles also commuted on the vital thoroughfare.

SSP Lone said in case of fair weather, traffic would ply from Srinagar to Jammu on Monday. "The travelers are requested to contact Traffic Control Units in Srinagar before leaving for Jammu," he said.

Pertinently, the closure of the road for five straight days had choked essential supplies to Kashmir, leading to a surge in prices of commodities.

The air-traffic from the Srinagar "International" Airport resumed on Sunday.

"The flights operated normally throughout the day," Srinagar-based Director of Airports Authority of India, Sharad Kumar, told Greater Kashmir. 

An official said some additional flights operated during the day. "Some flights were delayed for some time, but all were able to land and take-off," he said.

According to reports, scores of roads, particularly the link roads in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, are still closed and electricity yet to be restored.

Reports said scores of roads in Lolab, Kraplora, Ramhall and Handwara are still closed and areas cut-off. They said electricity at most places in the district is yet to be restored.  

"The Tangdhar-Kupwara road is closed for the past one week and the residents are facing a lot of problems," reports said on Sunday.

The residents alleged that no measures are being taken to clear the snow that has accumulated on Kupwara roads.

They said the interior roads in areas like Shamaspora, Pathangali, Gumul, Hadinar and some other areas are still blocked.

Meanwhile, a report said a fish farm was damaged in Ferozpora village of Tangmarg in Baramulla district on Saturday evening following heavy snow accumulation.

Meanwhile, a Meteorological department official said: "We expect light rains and snowfall at isolated places in next 24 hours."

He said night (minimum) temperature has shown a downward trend while maximum (day) temperature is increasing.  

He said Gulmarg in Baramulla district was second coldest place at a minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius.

Other places, including Srinagar, also witnessed night temperatures around the freezing point, the official said.

Leh in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in Kashmir division last night, even as the minimum temperature there improved, the official said. The mercury in Leh settled at minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, up nearly five degrees from the previous night's low of minus 10.1 degrees Celsius.

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