Sgr-Jmu highway remains closed for 5th day

Sgr-Jmu highway remains closed for 5th day

Srinagar, Feb 10: Describing the road condition “unpredictable”, a senior police officer said the national highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed for the fifth day on Sunday due to frequent landslides and shooting stones coupled with slippery conditions.
Meanwhile, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of several feet of snow which has now frozen.
The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway also remained closed and there is no chance of early reopening of the only road connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir.
The road condition of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway is unpredictable as nobody knows when there will be landslides or shooting, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, Superintendent of Police (SP) highway said. He said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are working round the clock to keep the highway open.
However, he said, frequent shooting stones and landslides forced authorities not to resume traffic on the highway as it could prove dangerous. Recently two persons were killed and three others were injured after they attempted to cover the shooting stone prone area on foot. They were hit by shooting stone.
Meanwhile, official sources said that over 3000 vehicles, mostly carrying essentials for Kashmir valley, are stranded on Udhampur and other places on the highway. Similarly, over 2000 trucks, including those loaded with fruit besides empty oil tankers are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel, including Qazigund.
There are large number of passengers stranded at Ramban, they said, adding now the district administration has made arrangement for their stay in a local school. The passengers, including women and children, are being provided food, they said.
Sources alleged that frequent landslides and shooting stones was due to construction work, including road widening by different construction companies who have not taken property measures.
There were fresh landslides on Sunday at several places, including Khoni-Nallah, Penthal, Battery Cheshma and Peedah. However, NHAI and BRO are working to clear the road.
The road is also slippery at several places, including Jawahar tunnel, Banihal and Patnitop, sources said some persons were injured when a vehicle skidded off the road in Ramban area this morning.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (traffic) said only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move once the highway is put through. However, Kashmir bound vehicles, carrying essentials will be given preference.