Kashmir highway again closed; Leh, Mughal roads remain shut

SRINAGAR : Traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, was again suspended on Saturday due to heavy snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel.
One-way traffic on the highway was resumed this morning after over 2,000 vehicles, stranded since Thursday night due to snowfall, were cleared on Friday afternoon.
The National Highway, the only road connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained closed for the past over a month due to accumulation of snow, a traffic police official said this morning. Mughal road which is seen as alternative to Kashmir highway, connects Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.
”We have suspended traffic on the Kashmir highway due to heavy snowfall at Jawahar tunnel,” a traffic police official told UNI this afternoon.
He said all the vehicles, which had left Jammu for Kashmir this morning, have been stopped at various places.
Snow clearance operation started by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was being hampered as it was still snowing, he said, adding that traffic will be resumed only after getting green signal from BRO and traffic police personnel deployed at different places.
He said traffic was suspended on Thursday evening on the highway, the only all weather road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country due to snowfall on both sides of the Jawhar tunnel. Over 500 Kashmir-bound vehicles, including trucks carrying essentials and oil tankers, got stranded at Ramban, Ramsu, Chanderkote and other places.
Similarly, over 2,000 Jammu-bound vehicles, including trucks carrying fruits, and passenger vehicles were stopped between Anantnag-Qazigund yesterday. However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway put into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow.
Later, Jammu-bound vehicles were allowed to move after Kashmir bound vehicles were cleared till late last night.
Only one-way traffic was being allowed on the highway in view of the road widening and frequent landslides. Today, traffic was to ply from Jammu to Srinagar, he said, adding that Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) were allowed to leave Jammu from 0500 hrs and they have to cross Udhampur by 1330 hrs. Similarly, the Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV) traffic will be allowed from 1300 hrs to 1900 hrs, he said, adding that no vehicle will be allowed after the deadline.