Srinagar-Jammu highway open for one-way traffic

Dozens of far flung roads still closed

Srinagar, Dec 17: Only one-way traffic would be allowed on the national highway, connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country and traffic will ply from Srinagar to Jammu on Sunday.
Dozens of far flung and remote areas, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) remained closed due to heavy snowfall in the Kashmir valley.
Traffic remained suspended on the 86-km-long historic Mughal road while helicopter service would be introduced to border district of Kargil in Ladakh region, which remained cut off from Kashmir due to closure of Srinagar-Leh national highway for winter months.
A traffic police official said that keeping in view the overall condition of the road, especially between Jawahar tunnel and Ramban, coupled with narrow width of the national highway at some places, only one-way traffic is feasible. Therefore, he said today traffic will ply from Srinagar to Jammu. However, no vehicle, including security force convoy, would be allowed from opposite under any circumstances in order to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the highway.
He said traffic will be allowed from Lavdora Qazigund from 0600 hrs and all vehicles will have to cross the Jawahar Tunnel by 1230 hrs positively. No vehicle will be allowed after the deadline.
Traffic on the Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed for the sixth day today as about three to four feet of snow had accumulated at several places on other side of the Pir-ki-Gali. However, on this side of the Gali the snow had been cleared.
Meanwhile, dozens of far flung and remote villages, including near the LoC in north Kashmir districts of Bandipora and Kupwara remained cut off from their respective district and tehsil headquarters due to heavy snowfall recently. The district authorities in Bandipora in north Kashmir have started snow clearance operation on road leading to border town of Gurez which remained cut off due to snowfall. Though the Gurez remained cut off during winter months, but the snow clearance operation has been started to transport diesel to the border town for generating power. Official sources said that there is a shortage of over 1.20 lakh litres of diesel which could be used in diesel generators to provide six hour power to people in Gurez during winter, when the area remained cut off from other parts of the valley.
The national highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir has been closed for winter months due to snowfall and slippery road condition.
Meanwhile, the Pawan Hans paid helicopter service trials for Kargil-Srinagar route and Padum-Kargil route were conducted today with trial flights successfully landing at Civil Helipad Kargil and Padum yesterday.The air service between Kargil and Srinagar as per schedule issued earlier shall operate once a week on every Tuesday.
The Deputy Commissioner also formally launched the helicopter services between Kargil and Srinagar in which an infant patient and four passengers were carried to Srinagar.
The launch of Chopper services will be instrumental in providing timely transport to patients, accident victims, students and the general public of the region. The helicopter service will connect the people of the area with rest of the State especially during winter months and adverse weather conditions besides giving a fillip to tourism in the area.
The tariff per passenger on the Srinagar-Kargil route has been fixed as Rs 4500, Srinagar-Drass route at Rs 3500 while as the Kargil-Padum route tariff has been fixed at Rs 5000.