Ramban: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, after having remained blocked throughout the night due to a landslide and shooting stones at Mehar in Ramban, was thrown open for traffic on Tuesday morning.
Official sources said that the highway was blocked on Monday evening at around 9:30 pm due to shooting stones and a landslide at Mehar ahead of the Ramban town.
However, it was thrown open for stranded traffic this morning at around 6:30 am after the slide was cleared.
A Traffic Police officer said that the road was cleared of debris but the shooting stones kept falling though with lesser intensity.
“Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) were being cleared towards Kashmir but the risk to passenger vehicles is still there,” he said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, DySP Traffic National Highway Ramban, Parul Bharadwaj said, “The landslide at Mehar was cleared and the stranded vehicles were allowed to proceed to their respective destinations at 6:30 am on Tuesday.”
He said that the stranded Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and heavy passenger vehicles on both sides of the slide and the shooting stone-prone Mehar area were allowed to move on priority towards their respective destinations.
Bharadwaj said heavy load carriers, stopped at Ramban and Ramsu, were also allowed to move towards Jammu after reopening the road Tuesday morning.
Officials said that a scheduled convoy of Amarnath Yatra, carrying 570 yatris, who left Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu for two yatra base camps at Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir, crossed the Nashri-Banihal stretch safely.
A manager of the company engaged by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) said that a single-lane road was prepared at Mehar and vehicles were crossing the landslide-prone areas.
He said that intermittent falling of shooting stones and landslides at this place had slowed down the flow of traffic.
However, he said, men and machinery were deployed at the spot for cleaning accumulated debris and stones.
Till late in the evening, HMVs were crossing the Nashri-Ramban stretch of the highway, although at a slow pace.
Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Traffic Police Headquarters issued an advisory stating that subject to fair weather and good road conditions, the passenger LMVs would be allowed to move on both sides whereas HMVs would be allowed from Qazigund in Kashmir towards Jammu after assessing the traffic situation along the highway on Wednesday.
The cut-off timing for the LMVs and private cars would be 7:30 am to 11:30 am from Nagrota to Jammu and 8:30 am to 12:30 pm from Jakhani, Udhampur.
The cut-off timings for the Jammu-bound LMVs would be 11:30 am to 2 pm from Qazigund.