Kashmir NH through for one-way traffic; Leh highway, Mughal road remain closed

SRINAGAR : Only one-way traffic continued on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, while the historic Mughal road remained closed for the seventh successive day on Sunday due to accumulation of several feet of snow and slippery road conditions.
The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh National Highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir, also remained closed for the seventh day on Saturday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.
Only one-way traffic continued to ply on Kashmir highway due to bad road conditions, a traffic police official said. He said on Sunday, traffic will ply from Kashmir to Jammu and no vehicle, including security force convoy, would be allowed from opposite direction.
Two-way traffic will be allowed to ply on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu NH only after getting a green signal from Border Road Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, and traffic police officials deployed at various places on the highway, he added.
There were several feet of snow accumulated on the 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, at several places, including Pir-ki-Gali.
The snow has frozen due to which the road, which is seen as an alternative to the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, has become very slippery, he said. He said the district administrations from both sides of Gali are making arrangements to clear the snow.
However, there is very remote chance of resumption of traffic on the road which remains closed for six winter months due to heavy snowfall and threat of avalanches.
A large number of vehicles, including trucks, remained stranded on the highway on both sides of Gali. Traffic will not be allowed till weather and road condition improves, he added. He said traffic also remained suspended on the Srinagar-Leh highway following snowfall due to which the road has become slippery.
A large number of Kashmir vehicles, including empty trucks and oil tankers besides carrying passengers, are stranded at Drass, Kargil and other places on other side of the Zojila pass. Similarly, some vehicles are also stopped on this side of the pass in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal.
There is very less chance of resumption of traffic on the highway following accumulation of snow due to below freezing temperature, making snow clearance operation difficult, official sources said, adding that there is also threat of avalanches.
The Beacon authorities will start snow clearance operation only when weather improves and there is no threat of avalanches, official sources said, adding that the highway will be declared closed for winter if there is no improvement.
The Ladakh region remains cut off during six winter months due to heavy snowfall and snow avalanches. The Government of India (GoI) and State Government have already announced to construct a tunnel at Zojila to make it an all weather road. (AGENCIES)