Leh highway closed, Kashmir highway, Mughal road through despite rains

The Leh highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir, has been closed due to landslides while the Srinagar-Jammu and historic Mughal roads are through despite rains.
Traffic on the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway was suspended due to landslides, triggered by heavy overnight rains at Zojila, a traffic police official said.
Traffic on the highway was disrupted between Sonmarg-Zojila-Meenmarg only, he said, adding that vehicles were plying between Srinagar to Sonmarg and Drass-Kargil to Leh normally, he said. Officials said the BEACON, responsible for the maintenance of the highway have already put into service sophisticated machines and men to put through the highway. However, intermittent rain is hampering the landslide clearance operation and there is forecast for more rain during the next 24 hours. The official said that traffic will be resumed only after receiving green signal from traffic authorities posted on the highway.

Meanwhile, all Kashmir-bound vehicles have been stopped at Drass and other places on other side of the Zojila. Similarly, large number of vehicles, including those carrying essentials for Ladakh region are stranded at Sonmarg. The highway was put through only early last month after remaining closed for six winter months due to eight to ten feet of snowfall during winter. The official said that national highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was through for traffic despite rain. However, heavy vehicles will continue to ply from one-way, he said. Light vehicles will ply from both sides on the Kashmir highway while heavy vehicle will ply from Srinagar to Jammu only, he said, adding that no heavy vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction. Meanwhile, only one-way traffic will continue to ply on historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. Official said today traffic will ply from Rajouri-Poonch to Shopian on the road, which is been seen as alternative to the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. However, the road remained closed for six winter months due to heavy snowfall.

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