Ramban: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained blocked for every type of traffic due to massive landslides and continuous triggering of rolling stones from a hillock at Shalgari, Sherbibi area of Banihal since Tuesday morning.
The steep mountains at Shalgadi were excavated for converting the present two-lane highway into four lanes some time back.
Due to road blockade, hundreds of Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) were stranded in long queues on both sides of the landslides between Banihal and Digdol.
Some LMVs stuck on both sides of the landslide hit Shalgari, Sherbibi area preferred to return to their respective destinations in Srinagar and Jammu whereas hundreds were still stranded.
The road restoration work is being hampered due to continuous landslides and shooting stones at Shalgari, giving a tough time to road maintenance agencies of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
Traffic authorities said that soon after the blockade of the road, the concerned road maintenance agencies were summoned for clearing the road.
They said men and machines of the concerned agencies started road restoration work amid shooting stones and a huge chunk of debris was cleared from the road Tuesday morning but a fresh landslide again hit the road at the same place at Shalgari in the afternoon and blocked the highway completely.
The traffic authorities said that the road restoration work was going on but the continuous triggering of landslides and stones hampered the road restoration work.
They said that during the last 24 hours up to 5 pm on Tuesday, the highway remained blocked for 16 hours and 20 minutes.
SSP Traffic, National Highway, Ramban, Mohita Sharma late Tuesday evening said that the road was still closed for traffic at Shalgari area of Banihal.
She said that continuous shooting stones at Shalgari, Banihal were hampering the road clearance work on the highway.
A manager of the contractor company of NHAI said that men and machinery were on the job to clear the debris and boulders from the road at Shalgadi.
Earlier, two ambulances carrying bodies were also stuck on the highway.
However, the bodies were later shifted with the help of local volunteers to the other side through a local link road.
The source said some stranded passengers were accommodated at a Madrasa and at an Army camp in Nachlana.