Jammu: Over 700 trucks loaded with goods are stranded at Nagrota on Jammu-Srinagar highway waiting for their turn to leave for different destinations in Kashmir.
According to the traffic officers, the trucks were stopped in Jammu alongside the highway because of the slow movement of traffic that caused heavy jams on the highway following landslides in Cafeteria, Panthyal, Ramsoo and other places in Banihal of Ramban district.
“We have stopped around 700 trucks from Sidhra to the Panjgrain area of Nagrota in Jammu district,” a traffic police officer said. They will release the stopped trucks to avoid a chaotic situation in Banihal after getting clearance messages.
The traffic police officer said, “We do not allow trucks to Kashmir from Jammu unless given highway clearance in Banihal where the trucks and commuters struck and became a cause of traffic jam. However, there is no restriction on the movement of vehicles/trucks to Chenab Valley, Udhampur or Reasi.”
“First we will release stranded trucks at Banihal from Ramsoo, Panthtal and cafeteria etc for Kashmir. When these trucks cross the tunnel from Banihal towards Kashmir, then apple-loaded trucks (from Qazigund) stranded on the other side of the tunnel will be released first towards Jammu and other destinations,” he added.
The traffic police officer said that no truck will be allowed to move from Jammu till the apple loaded will cross Jawahar Tunnel and Nashri Tunnel at Chanani.
“The stranded trucks from Jammu will be released when the apple-loaded trucks cross the vulnerable places to ensure smooth vehicular traffic on the highway. Perhaps, it will take one day but it depends upon the ground situation of the highway,” he added further.
The traffic police officer said that “We have to keep the highway moving and ensure supply of essential commodities to Kashmir. There is slow movement of traffic on the highway due to landslides in various places.”
Yesterday, the officer said that they had released some of the stranded trucks but they have also got stuck in the traffic jam in Udhampur and other areas.
Meanwhile, a truck driver from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Rafiq told Greater Kashmir that he was stranded in Nagrota for the last three days. He had to deliver FCI rice loaded from Jalandhar in Srinagar.
“I have reached one hour back at Sidhra. I have loaded coal in his truck to deliver it in Srinagar,” said Aseen, a truck driver, resident of Barmer in Rajasthan. “We are assured that the trucks will be released soon after the clearance in Banihal,” he added.