Srinagar-Leh highway remains closed for 3rd day

SRINAGAR: The 434-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road linking Ladakh region with Kashmir valley, remained closed for the third day on Saturday due to fresh landslides triggered by rain during the night.
The highway was put through for few hours on Friday in the afternoon but had to close again due to fresh landslides, a traffic police official said this morning.
He said traffic on the strategically important highway was suspended on Thursday following landslides and shooting stones at several places on the highway, particularly in Zojila area.
However, the Beacon authorities immediately put into service sophistcated machines and men and cleared the landslides in the afternoon, he said adding traffic was allowed before fresh landslides.
A huge portion of a hill had collapsed and blocked the road in Zojila pass area, he said, adding the machines and men have again been pressed into service to put through the highway.
Partial traffic was allowed yesterday in the afternoon on the highway when landslides were cleared, he said adding fresh landslides again forced closure of the highway.
He said normally traffic is being allowed in the morning from Ladakh to Kashmir and later from here to other side of the Zojila pass.
The Government of India (GoI) has already sanctioned tunnel at Zojila to make it all weather road which remained closed during winter months due to accumulation of heavy snow.
Meanwhile, District Development Commissioner (DDC), Ganderbal Hashmat Ali Khan on Friday visited Zojila, Sonamarg to take the first-hand appraisal of clearance work of the road at Zojila which is blocked due to landslides caused by cloud burst on Thursday.
The DDC reviewed the progress on the clearance work of the road. He interacted with the officials of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), who are maintaining the road and directed them to expedite the road clearance work so that the road is thrown open at the earliest.