Landslides disrupt traffic on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway

Landslides disrupt traffic on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway
Landslides block Srinagar-Jammu highway. [File]Muhammad Taskeen/ GK

Ramban: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for vehicular traffic, due to fresh landslides at Mehar, Ramban on Tuesday evening, even as the highway was thrown open briefly for traffic on Tuesday morning.

However, the movement of traffic remained disrupted for several hours at Ramban due to fresh landslides on Tuesday morning and afternoon.

The highway was restored Tuesday at 8 am at Panthyal after the road maintenance agency NHAI cleared the highway, while stranded passenger light medium vehicles (LMVs) were allowed to move towards Jammu.

Traffic authorities said a fresh landslide at 11 am in the Mehar area of Ramban again hit the road and blocked the highway till 3 pm.

Hundreds of LMVs crossed the Mehar landslide towards their respective destinations.

Officials said a landslide again triggered at Mehar at 5 pm and halted the vehicular traffic movement.

Due to closure of the road at Mehar, hundreds of Jammu-bound LMVs remained stuck after intervals at Ramban Seri Maroog and Ramsu sectors of the highway, said a Traffic official.

There was chaos on the highway due to traffic congestion leading towards Jammu and Srinagar at Ramban and other places.

Traffic on the highway was suspended on Monday night following landslides and shooting stones at Panthyal due to snowfall and incessant rains in the area which triggered multiple landslides and shooting stones from Nashri to Ramsu starch of the highway last week.

Earlier the Srinagar- Jammu National Highway got blocked on Friday and remained closed for three consecutive days due to heavy snowfall on both sides of Banihal-Qazigund, Jawahar Tunnel Banihal Ramsu stretch and landslides between Chanderkote and Ramsu. The road was partially thrown open for stranded vehicles on Sunday night after clearing landslides and improvement in the weather.

On Monday morning authorities allowed hundreds of LMVs to ply towards Jammu.

Meanwhile, passenger light medium motor vehicles heading towards Jammu are being diverted through alternate Maitra- Karool link road bypassing Mehar landslide.

For this purpose, announcements were made through the public address system by the Traffic Police authorities as normally vehicles plying on Jammu Srinagar National Highway were not allowed to cross through this single lane suspension bridge over river Chenab in Ramban town.

The bridge was declared unsafe for heavy traffic by the GREF in the year 2014 however for facilitating stranded passengers vehicles were allowed to cross this bridge.

Deputy Superintendent of Police headquarters Ramban, Pardeep Sen, who is monitoring the road restoration work at Mehar told Greater Kashmir that frequent triggering of shooting stones and landslides is hampering the road restoration work. However, he said efforts are being made to clear the road by deploying sophisticated machines and installing high beam lights at the spot.

Till the filing of this report highway remained closed at Mehar.

Greater Kashmir
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