Civilian traffic resumes on Kashmir highway, Leh, Mughal road remain shut

Srinagar,  : Civilian traffic was on Thursday resumed on the national highway, the only road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, after remaining suspended on Wednesday due to ban imposed by the authorities to allow free and safe movement of security force convoy.
Meanwhile, the national highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir remained closed though snow clearance operation has almost been completed and few vehicles, carrying fresh vegetables, reached border town of Kargil from Sonamarg in central valley on Wednesday.
The historic 86-km-long Mughal road and Anantnag-Kishtwar road remained closed due to accumulation of snow.
We have allowed civilian traffic to ply on the highway this morning, a traffic police official told UNI.
However, he said, only one way traffic will continue to ply on the highway due to sudden landslides and shooting stones besides road widening work.
On Thursday, traffic will ply from Jammu to Srinagar and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction, he said.
However, he said Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will have to cross Nagrote, Jammu from 0700 hrs to 1000 hrs and Jakhen Udhampur 0800 hrs to 1100 hrs.
He said after the ban hours on civilian ended at 1700 hrs yesterday, we allowed Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) to move from different parts of Jammu region towards Kashmir from 1900 hrs. The HMVs will be allowed to ply till 1400 hrs today, he said no vehicle will be allowed after the deadline.
The authorities have banned civilian traffic twice a week on Sunday and Wednesday to allow free and secure movement of security convoy on the highway. The ban was imposed after 44 CRPF personnel were killed in a fidayeen attack y Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) on February 14 at Awantipora on the highway.
Similar unsuccessful attempt was made to target security force convoy near Jawahar tunnel.
However, ban evoked sharp reaction from leaders of mainstream political parties, separatists, traders and fruit growers besides transporters and common people to punish people of Kashmir.
A number of petitions were filed in the High Court against the ban. The government has informed the court that ban on civilian traffic movement on the highway will be reviewed after Parliamentary polls are over in the state.
Meanwhile, snow clearance operation on the Srinagar-Leh national highway has been completed and the road would be put through after necessary repair. The road was closed in November last year due to accumulation of snow.
Officials said few trucks, carrying essentials, particularly loaded with fresh vegetable reached Kargil from Sonamarg in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal on Wednesday. However, officially traffic will be allowed after proper repair of the road which has been damaged due to snow.
Snow clearance operation on Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and Anantnag-Kishtwar was going on war footing to put through traffic which was suspended in November last year to accumulation of snow.

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