Srinagar- Jammu National Highway closure leaves hundreds stranded

Vehicles stranded on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Patni Top on Sunday. [Representational Image]
Vehicles stranded on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Patni Top on Sunday. [Representational Image] Mir Imran/GK

Ramban: After the resumption of traffic for some time on Wednesday morning, the Srinagar- Jammu National Highway was again closed for vehicular traffic.

Traffic movement on the highway remained disrupted due to frequent landslides at Mehar Ramban on the second consecutive day on Wednesday.

However, the Ramban-Srinagar stretch of the highway remained open.

Official sources said the highway, after remaining closed on Tuesday night, was thrown open for traffic on Wednesday morning for a brief period. However, the road remained closed for a major part of the day due to frequent landslides and shooting stones near Mehar ahead of Ramban town.

Due to blockade of the highway at Mehar hundreds of heavy motor vehicles and light-medium load carriers carrying essential commodities for Kashmir remain stranded between Udhampur and Mehar (Ramban) in long queues on the highway.

However, some passenger light motor vehicles were allowed to move towards their respective destinations via Karool Maitra link road bypassing the Mehar landslide.

As Light motor vehicles preferred Karool Maitra Ramban old alignment road to bypass the Mehar landslide on the National Highway, hundreds of vehicles and load carriers passenger vehicles, private cars were stuck in traffic jams on highway since morning.

Movement of heavy load carriers and LMVs was allowed from Jammu towards Kashmir only.

Frequent landslides triggered at Mehar affected the inflow of traffic from Nashri to Ramban and Ramban to Banihal for a major part of the day resulting in problems for commuters of Ramban district also.

Commuters complain that due to the heavy rush of Light Motor Vehicles traffic jams remained at Maitra scores of passenger vehicles en route Jammu and valley Kashmir including Gool remained stuck in a massive traffic Jam.

Scores of people preferred to cross the Mehar landslide by putting their lives at risk to reach Ramban while walking.

Travelling on the highway has become problematic and cumbersome for the commuters, government employees and patients who said that they are the worst suffers due to frequent closure of the highway.

When contacted, SSP Traffic National Highway Ramban, Shabir Ahmed Malik said the department has already issued an advisory that the commuters were requested to avoid travelling and consult traffic police officials before starting their journey.

Vipan Singh, Manager of a contractor company of NHAI informed Greater Kashmir that road clearance work at Mehar was underway “but frequent landslide and shooting stones are hampering the clearance operation,” he said.

Till the filing of this report, the highway remained blocked at Mehar and hundreds of Heavy Medium and Light Medium Vehicles passengers vehicles en route Kashmir remained stranded between Mehar and Nashri in long queues.

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