Despite rains, Srinagar-Jammu Highway open

Srinagar- Leh Highway, Mughal road closed for traffic
There were no landslides but shooting stones at some places. However, this did not hamper the movement of vehicular traffic on the highway.
There were no landslides but shooting stones at some places. However, this did not hamper the movement of vehicular traffic on the highway.File/ GK

Ramban/Sonamarg: The Srinagar- Jammu National Highway remained open for vehicular traffic despite the inclement weather since Sunday morning.

There were no landslides but shooting stones at some places. However, this did not hamper the movement of vehicular traffic on the highway.

Passenger private cars and medium size vehicles were allowed from both the sides on the highway on Sunday.

As per advisory issued by the government administration including concerned agencies working on the highway, have been asked to be ready for handling any eventuality that may arise due to rain or snowfall in the area, said district administration officers.

Traffic police headquarters has issued a fresh advisory in which commuters are advised not to travel on Jammu-Srinagar National highway without confirming the status of road from TCU Jammu Ramban and Srinagar in view of inclement weather predictions issued by Meteorological Department. However, subject to fair weather and better road conditions on Monday, LMVs shall be allowed to ply on both sides whereas heavy motor vehicles shall be allowed to ply from Jakhani Udhampur towards Kashmir, the traffic advisory said.

Meanwhile, Zojila Pass connecting Kashmir to Ladakh, Drass and Minamarg areas on Srinagar-Leh National Highway also received fresh spell of snowfall since Sunday morning, resulting in the closure of Srinagar- Leh National Highway.

Famous health resort Sonamarg received over 3 inch of snow while Zojila pass and Minamarg Drass received 4 to 5 inches of snow till Sunday afternoon.

"It has been snowing in Sonamarg and Zojila since Sunday morning. The traffic from both Sonamarg and Kargil sides has been stopped. Any further decision to allow traffic on the road will be subject to improvement in weather conditions," a Traffic Police official told Greater Kashmir.

Moderate snowfall on higher reaches and heavy rainfall in plains affected normal life in Pir Panjal region on Sunday with suspension of traffic on the historic Mughal Road.

" At all the high reaches of Rajouri and Poonch districts, fresh snowfall started on Sunday morning and was going on lightly when last reports were received with the level of snow at some higher ranges being over two feet," said officials.

Meanwhile, vehicular traffic on several incomplete link-roads in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch also got affected due to slippery conditions and muddy surface.

Officials said the Mughal Road was closed for all kinds of traffic due to accumulation of snow near Pir Ki Gali of around two feet.

"Movement of all kinds of vehicles on Mughal road is closed till snow is cleared," said Deputy SP Traffic, Aftab Shah.

He added that no vehicle can move over the road and people should refrain from moving towards the Mughal road until the road is cleared officially.

As the higher reaches received the fresh snowfall, all roads connecting Kashmir with Chenab valley have also been closed for traffic.

These include Kokernag- Sinthan-Kishtwar road; Kokernag-Marwa- Warwan road connecting south Kashmir's Anantnag district with Kishtwar district headquarters and twin valleys.

An official said that a fresh snowfall at Sinthan Top since Saturday night has lead to the closure of the Kishtwar route.

“ The places like Lihanwan and Margan Top also received moderate snowfall due to which the road leading to twin valleys of Marwa and Warwan have also been shut,” he said.

An official said several villages on the Warwan side including Choidran, Mungli, and Gumri have also received light to moderate snowfall.

As the winter sets in both the roads remain closed for around six months due to the accumulation of snow.

Kishtwar is also connected to Srinagar –Jammu national highway via Doda.

However, the twin valleys of Marwa and Warwan spread over forty villages and a population of around 50,000 souls is not yet connected to the district headquarters of Kishtwar.

Hence the 95 Km long Daksum-- Margan top- Marwa road thrown open in the year 2007 and connecting it with Kokernag remains the only surface link to the outside world.

In the absence of a road facility, people have no choice but to trek to reach the main Kishtwar or else wait till summer to travel via the Kokernag-Sinthan route.

(With inputs from Sumit Bhargav in Rajouri and Khalid Gul in Anantnag)

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