Mughal road still closed, no traffic on Kashmir highway, Leh road uncertain

Srinagar, Dec 18 (UNI) Traffic on the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended on Friday for maintenance of the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, a traffic police official said.

The historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed for the past 11th day on Friday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.

Uncertainty continued on the national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir valley, as vehicles which had left Kargil on Thursday returned back from Zero-Point after heavy winds and slippery road conditions later in the afternoon.

Traffic official told UNI that one-way traffic was resumed on Srinagar-Leh highway yesterday after remaining suspended for over a week due to snow and slippery road conditions. However, vehicles which left Kargil, Drass and Meenmarg were stopped at Zero point after heavy winds brought down snow from higher reaches and blocked road at several places, particularly at Zojila pass. Later, vehicles were brought back to safer places, he said, adding subject to weather and road condition, only stranded Kashmir bound vehicles will be allowed today. No vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction. Night traffic between 1800 hrs to 0900 hrs next morning on the highway will remain banned.

The authorities have decided to keep the highway open till December ending this winter. The centre has started work on construction of a tunnel at Zojila to make it all weather road, which remained closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall. The government has already stocked essentials, including rice, atta, diesel, petrol, LPG and medicine at different areas in the Ladakh region for winter months.

Traffic on 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended today to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to undertake necessary maintenance of the road. There shall be no vehicular movement also on Doda-Kishtwar Jammu road. The UT administration had announced that traffic on the highway will remain suspended on Friday to allow concerned agencies to undertake maintenance and repair work.

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