Srinagar-Jammu National Highway restored for stranded vehicles

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

Ramban: Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was restored for stranded vehicles after the road maintenance agency cleared the landslide and prepared a single lane road at Cafeteria Morh Ramban, and Maroog late Sunday evening.

Traffic Control Unit (TCU) Ramban confirmed that stranded passenger Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) in Ramban town and Maroog were allowed to proceed towards Jammu at 8 pm.

“One-way traffic has been restored on NH-44,” Deputy Commissioner Ramban tweeted on his official Twitter handle later in the evening.

Earlier, the highway remained closed for the better part of Sunday on the third consecutive day due to snowfall and multiple landslides between Nashri and Banihal sectors passing through Ramban.

Officers of traffic police and district administration said after improvement in weather, men and machinery of road maintenance agency NHAI were pressed into service. They cleared the accumulated snow on both sides of Jawahar tunnel, Banihal-Qazigund tunnel besides Banihal and Ramsu stretches.

Officials said the road restoration work between Ramsu and Nashri was going on in full swing as more machines were pressed into service to clear the huge landslides at Magarkote, Panthyal, Maroog and three other places between Chanderkote and Ramban. The road restoration work at Khooni nallah had not started yet.

A manager of a company engaged by NHAI Vipan Singh, who is monitoring the road clearance operation ahead of Cafeteria Morh, Ramban, said that four machines were pressed into service to clear the debris accumulated in the 200-meter road stretch between Mehar and Ramban.

He said that intermittent sliding of shooting stones from hillocks was, however, hampering the road restoration work. He said that a landslide at Duggi Pulli, near Chanderkote, was cleared on Sunday.

Singh said, “Road clearance operation at Maroog, where a huge landslide had blocked the road, was also expedited by pressing more machinery into service.”

Deputy Commissioner Ramban Mussarat Islam personally monitored the road restoration works ahead of Cafeteria Morh, Ramban and Maroog.

Senior Superintendent of Traffic Police National Highway Ramban Shabir Ahmed Malik said that Udhampur to Mehar one-way road stretch was cleared for traffic whereas a road clearance operation between Mehar and Ramban was going on.

Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed on Wednesday afternoon due to incessant rains, shooting stones and mudslides that had occurred at several places between Nashri and Banihal sectors.

However, after slight improvement in weather on Thursday morning, stranded passenger Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and vehicles carrying essential commodities were allowed to move to their respective destinations after stand-by machinery of road maintenance agency NHAI cleared the landslides. But overnight rains and fresh spell of snowfall on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday again triggered landslides, shooting stones between Nashri and Banihal resulted in closure of highway since Friday morning.

Management of road maintenance agency NHAI, responsible for up-keep of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was hopeful that the highway would be fully restored for traffic by Monday evening.

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