Ramban: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained blocked for four hours due to landslides and shooting stones between Mehar and Cafeteria Morh, Ramban stretch following a brief spell of heavy rains that lashed the area Sunday afternoon.
Traffic authorities said that the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway got blocked due to continuous triggering of shooting stones and mudslides at Cafeteria Morh, Ramban, and Mahad at 4 pm after a brief spell of rains lashed the area.
Due to the blockade of the road, hundreds of light, medium, and heavy vehicles remained stranded till the landslides at three different locations besides accumulated stones were removed and a single carriageway was prepared between Mehar and Ramban on Sunday at 8 pm.
Traffic officials monitoring the regulation of the traffic in Ramban said that after clearing the landslides, the scheduled traffic resumed on the highway.
The stretch has become a constant threat to the smooth flow of vehicular traffic on the highway since the excavation and earth-cutting work was done by the contractor companies on this stretch in the year 2018 but the area has not become stable yet and the landslides and shooting stones persist in this area.
However, the district administration of Ramban had proposed tunnelling between Mehar and Cafeteria Morh, Ramban a few years back and on their recommendation, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways through the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been engaged in tunnelling for the last three months from the Mehar side.
The people and commuters complain that the work on this tunnel project is going on at a slow pace.
Meanwhile, J&K Traffic Police Department issued an advisory stating that subject to fair weather and better road conditions, passenger Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) would be allowed to ply on either side whereas Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) would be allowed from Qazigund, Kashmir to move towards Jammu after assessing the traffic situation on the highway on Monday morning.
They advised the people to confirm the status of the road before undertaking the journey from the Traffic Control Units (TCUs) of Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, and Ramban.
The cut-off timings for Srinagar-bound LMVs from Nagrota, Jammu have been fixed as 7 am to 12 pm and from Jakhani Udhampur as 8 am to 1 pm.
The cut-off timings for Jammu-bound LMVs from Qazigund, Kashmir has been fixed as 7 am to 12 pm.
TCU Srinagar and Jammu would liaise with TCU Ramban before releasing the HMVs for Kashmir on Monday morning.