Traffic suspended on Kashmir highway, Leh, Mughal roads remain shut

SRINAGAR: Traffic on the national highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country was suspended on Wednesday following snowfall since early morning, a traffic police official said.
The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway and historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained closed for the past about a month due to accumulation of snow which has now frozen.
Meanwhile, there is a forecast for moderate rain or snow during the next 24 hours with possibility of heavy snowfall on January 4 and 5 which could lead to disruption of surface and air transportation.
“We have suspended traffic as a precautionary measure on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway today due to snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, Shaitan Nallah and Banihal,” the official said.
He said several inches of snow had accumulated at tunnel due to which the road has become slippery. However, traffic will be allowed only after improvement in the weather.
“We cannot allow traffic without getting green signal from the traffic police officials and Border Road Organisation (BRO) officials posted at different places on the highway,” he added.
Only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway to avoid any traffic jam or accident for the past one year due road widening besides frequent landslides between Ramban and Ramsu stretch.
Today vehicles were to ply from Jammu to Kashmir, he said adding as per schedule no vehicle was to ply from opposite direction.
Meanwhile, the national highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir remained closed for the past about one month due to accumulation of snow, particularly on Zojila pass.
The road remained slippery due to frozen snow and there is no possibility of resuming traffic on the highway before March, official sources said.
The Government of India (GoI) has already sanctioned to construct a tunnel to make it all weather road. Similarly no traffic is possible on historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. (AGENCIES)