Srinagar, Jan 21: After chaos on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and massive traffic jams due to slippery road conditions, the authorities today said that only Light Motor Vehicles will be allowed to ply on Highway from Srinagar to Jammu tomorrow.
The authorities this morning sprinkled salt and urea in Patnitop and Jawahar Tunnel areas to help in the melting of ice which has led to slippery road conditions and then allowed the stranded vehicles in these areas to cross towards Jammu.
Jammu-bound vehicles, including those carrying passengers, were stranded at various places on the National Highway since last evening and they were allowed to move towards Jammu. After clearing all Kashmir-bound vehicles in Banihal stretch, the authorities allowed down convoy from Jammu.
There was chaos on the highway today as the passengers who had left for Srinagar from Jammu in the morning were yet to cross the Ramban till 9 p.m. One of the passengers said that they left at around 6 a.m. from Jammu and are stranded in Ramban since evening.
Another passenger said that they were stopped at Nagrota for one hour at around 7 a.m. at Chanderkote for three hours and Ramban two hours. “It is 9 p.m and we are stranded at Shaitan Nallah for last three hours”, he said.
The passengers alleged that the Traffic Police is allowing trucks and convoys to ply from the opposite side which is causing traffic jams.
Keeping in view the chaos caused by the condition of the road especially between Udhampur – Ramsoo and Banihal to Levdora in Qazigund, the Traffic Police said that only Light Motor Vehicles will be allowed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu tomorrow.
A Traffic Police official said due to narrow width of road at certain places and slippery road conditions, only one way movement of Light Motor Vehicles is feasible and advisable on the Highway.
“As such tomorrow, movement of LMVs/Light passenger vehicles only shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu side in a regulated manner. Movement of all such type of vehicles shall be allowed from Levdora, Qazigund from 0900 hours and these vehicles shall cross Jawahar Tunnel by 1400 hours positively beyond which no traffic shall be released from Jawahar Tunnel towards Banihal under any circumstances. However, keeping in view the condition of road, no movement of HMVs including convoys of Army, BSF, CRPF etc. shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu side under any circumstances”, the official said.
“No movement of vehicles including that of convoys of Army, BSF, CRPF etc. shall be allowed from Jammu towards Srinagar side on 22.01.2017 under any circumstances”, the official said.
In the meantime, Kashmir is bracing for another spell of wet weather as rains or snow has been forecast for the next six days, prompting the divisional administration to issue directions for taking necessary precautionary measures.
The MeT Department has forecast scattered rains or snow tomorrow, fairly widespread rains or snow on January 23 and widespread rains or snow over three days from January 24-26. The region is likely to be hit by a fresh western disturbance tomorrow.
According to a statement from divisional administration Kashmir, all the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division have been asked to take necessary precautionary measures in their respective districts in view of the weather forecast.
The temperatures across Kashmir have also dropped. Srinagar recorded the minimum of minus 3.3 degree Celsius, a decrease of over two degrees from the previous night’s minus 0.9 degree Celsius. Pahalgam in South Kashmir registered a low of minus 7.2 degree Celsius, up nearly seven degrees from the previous night’s minus 13.8 degree Celsius. Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 10 degree Celsius, against minus 11.8 degree Celsius yesterday. The resort was the coldest recorded place in the Valley.
Qazigund in South registered a low of minus 3.2 degree Celsius while Kupwara, in north, recorded a low of minus 3.8 degree Celsius.
The mercury in Kokernag town in South Kashmir dipped over three degrees from the yesterday’s low of minus 3.3 degree Celsius to settle at a low of minus 6.7 degree Celsius.
Leh town was the coldest recorded place in the State as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13.9 degree Celsius, up from previous night’s minus 16.8 degree Celsius. Kargil town registered a low of minus 14 degree Celsius, which was one degree up from previous night.
Jammu recorded 8.0 degree Celsius, Katra 8.5 degree Celsius, Banihal minus 0.7 degree Celsius, Bhaderwah 2.4 degree Celsius and Batote minus 0.3 degree Celsius as the minimum temperatures.
Srinagar recorded a maximum of 3.0 degree Celsius, Qazigund 4.0 degree Celsius, Pahalgam 2.0 degree Celsius, Kokernag 2.1 degree Celsius, Kupwara 5.5 degree Celsius, Gulmarg minus 1.6 degree Celsius, Leh 2.5 degree Celsius and Kargil minus 3.0 degree Celsius.
Jammu recorded a maximum of 14.6 degree Celsius, Katra 17.6 degree Celsius, Banihal 8.6 degree Celsius, Batote 9.2 degree Celsius and Bhaderwah 8.6 degree Celsius.