Kashmir remains cut off from rest of country for 3rd day

SRINAGAR :  Kashmir valley remained cut off from rest of the country for the third consecutive day today, due to landslide and snowfall.
The snowfall and landslides disrupted air traffic and road traffic on the National Highway, thereby cutting the Valley’s connection with the rest of the country.     About 4,000 vehicles, including those carrying passengers, are stranded at different places on the highway.    The highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed for more than 10 days during this month, resulting in rise in the prices and shortage of essentials, particularly vegetables.    For the past about three months only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway, which often remained closed due to landslides and snow.
A traffic police official told UNI that the highway remained closed and no fresh vehicle was allowed from Jammu or Srinagar since March 15.
He said about one-and-half-a-feet of fresh snowfall was experienced on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, Banihal and Shaitan Nallah.
Heavy rains also triggered fresh landslides at Ramban, Ramsu and Udhampur.
There was some improvement in the weather since last night. However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to put through the traffic.      Traffic on the highway will be resumed only when a green signal is received from BRO and traffic police officials posted at different places. However, only stranded vehicles will be allowed first to move towards their respective destinations before allowing fresh traffic.
The highway was closed on March 15 due to landslides, triggered by heavy rains, at Udhampur and Ramban and Ramsu areas.    Hundreds of vehicles, particularly trucks carrying essentials for the Kashmir valley, remained stranded at different places on the highway, including Jammu, Udhampur, Batote and Ramsu.    Truck drivers stranded at different places said that there are more than 4000 on the highway. Vegetables and other essentials are getting damaged due to continued rain as they are stranded there for the past several days.
The drivers alleged that they are being stopped by the traffic police at places where there is no water or food available. (agencies)

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