Landslides block NH

Army convoy stranded on highway at Ramban after landslides on Thursday. —Excelsior/Parvez Mir
Army convoy stranded on highway at Ramban after landslides on Thursday. —Excelsior/Parvez Mir

Excelsior Correspondent
RAMBAN, Apr 30: Over 600 vehicles including Army convoy, have been stranded as Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has been blocked due to landsides near Ramban.
Official sources said that the highway was blocked at around 9.30 am today morning after landslides between Mehar and Cafeteria Morh in Ramban sector took place. There was no rain in the area during past 24 hours but road widening activity was being carried out by the Gammon India Ltd and a private local contractor in this belt. Due to this, the process of shooting stones and falling of boulders is going on in this nearly 3 kms road stretch for the last several weeks.
Sources revealed that at present the landslides have created blockade at least at three places between Cafeteria Morh and Mehar, just near main Ramban bridge over Chenab river. The company is dumping hundreds of tons of debris into the river Chenab, in sheer violation of NGT directive, taking mere plea of early restoration of road. A large number of Army vehicles coming from Srinagar and Banihal towards Udhampur, empty trucks and trucks and oil tankers loaded with essentials for Kashmir are stranded on both sides of the highway. Nearly 600 such vehicles reported to have been stranded.
DySP Traffic, National Highway Ramban Sector, Ajay Anand said that highway was blocked at around 9.30 am and since then it could not be restored as continuous falling of boulders/ shooting stones created hurdles in road clearance work. He said the road has become very risky and dangerous in this zone and there is no hope of its restoration even late this evening. He said two machines have been deployed in the area and when the shooting stones stop, the work will be restored.