Traffic suspended on Kashmir highway due to fresh landslides

Srinagar, Feb 9 (UNI) Traffic was on Tuesday suspended on 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which connects Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, due to fresh landslides.

“Traffic on the highway was suspended again this afternoon due to fresh landslides at Marog in Ramban district, a traffic police official said.

Hundreds of Jammu-bound vehicles were stranded at various places on the highway due to the closure of the highway.

However, he said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the landslides. “Traffic will be resumed only after receiving a green signal from NHAI and traffic police officials posted at different places on the highway,: he said.

He said police has appealed to the people to strictly follow the timely advisories and to contact Traffic Control Units (TCUs) before starting their journey on the highway.

He said security forces have been advised not to ply against traffic plan in view of traffic congestion on the highway and narrowness of bailey bridge at Kela morh, where main concrete bridge was damaged after a retaining wall collapsed on January 10 evening.

The baily bridge was installed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) after National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) said it will take time to repair the damage. “Working on the retaining wall was going on, but it was not immediately clear when the work will be completed,” he added.

Frequent closure of the highway since its expansion has been a major cause of concern for the people living in Kashmir valley, where suspension of traffic results in increase in the rates of essential commodities by any folds.

Meanwhile, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with Shopian in south Kashmir and Anantnag-Sampthan-Kishtwar road remained closed since last week of December last year due to accumulation of snow and slippery conditions.

The national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir, has been closed since January 1 for winter months, he said. However, despite minus 30 degree temperature, work on Zojila tunnel to make it all weather road, was going on.

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