Ramban: Vehicular traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained disrupted for four hours on the Mehar-Cafeteria Morh stretch due to repair works carried out from 3 am to 7 am and due to the triggering of rolling stones from a hillock at Mehar for several hours on Saturday.
Narrow road stretches and the movement of livestock of nomads at different locations between Nashri and Banihal also hampered the smooth flow of traffic the entire day.
Due to traffic disruption on the highway at Mehar, traffic authorities did not allow the scheduled convoy of Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) towards Jammu from Qazigund.
A Traffic Police official said that vehicular traffic on the highway was disrupted on several occasions due to intermittent triggering of rolling stones near Mehar.
He said that despite that the highway remained open for two-way traffic of Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and one-way traffic of HMVs carrying essential commodities like oil and LPG for Kashmir.
The Traffic Police official said that traffic congestion was witnessed at a few places due to narrow road stretches and the movement of livestock of nomads.
At many locations on the highway, two vehicles cannot cross the narrow road stretches, leading to traffic congestion.
Another Traffic Police official said that vehicles were being released towards their respective destinations in a regulated manner.
Due to ongoing execution work, the existing two lanes of the highway have become narrow at many places between Nashri to Banihal and vehicle operators are facing difficulties in plying two vehicles simultaneously.
“At bottlenecks on the highway, sometimes two vehicle operators attempted to cross these narrow stretches but got stuck, leading to long hours of traffic jams,” a Traffic Police official said.
He said that the ongoing fruit harvest season, movement of nomads, passage of convoys of troops and paramilitary forces, and the movement of vehicles of the construction company both ways caused traffic congestion.
Meanwhile, J&K Traffic Police Headquarters issued a fresh traffic advisory for Sunday stating that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had been directed by the government to repair the stretch between the Cafeteria and Mahad.
“Due to this necessary repair work, traffic will remain suspended between Cafeteria and Mehad from 3 am to 7 am on Sunday,” the advisory said.
It said that after road repairs and subject to fair weather, private light and medium passenger vehicles would be allowed to move on either side while HMVs would be again allowed to move towards Jammu from Qazigund, Kashmir after assessing the traffic situation on the highway on Sunday as down convoy could not move due to shooting stones and blockage of the road at Cafeteria Morh, Ramban.
The cutoff timing for LMVs from Kashmir has been fixed as 7 am to 12 noon.
The cut-off timings for Srinagar-bound vehicles from Nagrota, Jammu have been fixed as 7 am to 12 noon and from Jakhani Udhampur from 8 am to 1 pm.
Traffic Control Unit (TCU) Jammu and TCU Srinagar have been asked to liaise with TCU Ramban before releasing the traffic.