On slide-devastated highway, convoys move with sluggish pace to Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Even as Srinagar Jammu highway is witnessing sluggish Jammu-Srinagar, one-way, traffic on Sunday, the Border Road people are facing a challenging task between Kishtwar and Thathri, an extension of Batote-Kishtwar-Semthan highway.

Officials said a massive landslide hit this highway at Drabshalla and it has been blasted but the much clearing will take a few days. Commuters have been accusing officials of not deploying more machines to clear the highway to Thathri.

Officials said while traffic is on, there are various obstructions where the sliding has impacted the traffic. At Mehar, Panthyal and Ramsoo, the landslides have reduced the width of the road which is troubling the movement and forcing for a clear on-way movement only.

“Even today in the afternoon the movement of traffic was disrupted in Ramsoo area due to triggering of landslide whereas the high velocity dust storm at Panthyal forced the field staff of Traffic wing to halt the movement of traffic on the NHW for some time keeping the safety of commuters in view,” Traffic officials said on Friday. “No movement of traffic including that of convoys of Army, BSF, CRPF etc. shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu side on 19.03.2017 under any circumstances to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the NHW.”

Traffic authorities have banned parking of vehicles anywhere from Ramsoo – Jawahar Tunnel – and Levdora under any circumstances. All these areas are slide prone and could cost lives.

Given the bad state of the road, authorities have sped-up the snow clearance operations on the Mughal Road. Though officially it is expected to open a fortnight later, efforts are underway to open it early. Mughal Road is an alternative highway connecting Srinagar with Jammu through Shopian-Rajouri and is slightly shorter. However, it witnessed massive snowfall last week as a result of which the snow clearance may take slightly longer time.

Meanwhile hundreds of trucks carrying supplies are on way to Srinagar that, off late, had witnessed sharp increase in vegetables, mutton and chicken.

Snow clearance operations have also started on Srinagar Kargil road as well.

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