SRINAGAR: The 280-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed for the second successive day on Friday due to landslides, triggered by incessant rains.
The traffic on the highway was suspended due to multiple landslides triggered by heavy rains at Panthyal, Battery Chashma, Marog, Monkey Morh and Trishul Morh in Ramban sector on Thursday morning.
Quoting deputy commissioner Ramban Nazim Zai Khan newspaper The Tribune reported that there were six to seven points where shooting stones had been taking place.
“We have launched a clearance operation at Mompassi point near Ramsoo but the continuous shooting stones at Panthyal and other places have been hampering clearance work. We are unable to carry out a clearance operation as it is raining heavily in the area,” The Tribune quoted Khan as having said, adding, “The traffic would remain suspended on the highway till clearance operation is over”.
“Around 200 passengers have been stranded at different places between treacherous Ramban and Banihal stretch. Refreshment for stranded is being organised at Seri and Ramban. Last evening, we cleared around 150-200 vehicles stranded in the area but continuous rains and shooting stones turned out to be a major challenge for road clearing teams. The operation was stalled and we are awaiting favourable weather conditions to re-launch operation,” the newspaper quoted Khan as saying.
According to the traffic police officials, over 1,000 vehicles including light motor vehicles and trucks have been stranded at different places along the highway including Ramban, Banihal, Udhampur-Jakheni Bypass Pass, Dhar Road and Nagrota area of Jammu.
“No fresh movement of vehicles is being allowed from TCP Jakheni (Udhampur) towards Kashmir and Qazigund towards Jammu side since Thursday morning. The priority will be on clearing all stranded vehicles,” the officials said.