No traffic on Kashmir highway for maintenance, Leh, Mughal roads closed

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SRINAGAR: The 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was closed on Friday for maintenance, a traffic police official said.
However, the national highway, the only road which connects Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir, has been shut for winter months due to accumulation of snow which remained frozen due to sub zero temperature.
The historic 86-km-long Mughal road, linking the Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed due to accumulation of snow and slippery conditions. There is no possibility of reopening of the road before the end of winter months. The road which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway was used for transportation of fresh fruit from Kashmir to other parts of the country.
Traffic police official said that no traffic was allowed on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to undertake necessary maintenance and repair work.
The UT government in November last year had announced to close the highway on every Friday for maintenance and repair of the road after frequent disruption in traffic movement due to landslides and shooting stones. Suspension of traffic on the highway result in shortage of essentials in the Kashmir valley, leading to price rice of fresh vegetables and fruits.
The Srinagar-Leh national highway has been closed for winter months as accumulated snow on the road had frozen due to below minus 10 to 15 degree temperature, particular at Zojila, Zero point, India gate, Meenmarg and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia. To avoid traffic on the highway would be dangerous because of slippery conditions.
However, traffic from border town of Kargil to Leh on the highway will continue to ply subject weather conditions, he said. (agencies)