Despite intermittent landslides, highway through for one-way traffic

Despite intermittent landslides, highway through for one-way traffic
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Srinagar, Feb 14: The national highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country was through for one-way traffic only and vehicles, stranded for the past about a week, will ply from Jammu to Srinagar.
Traffic will remain suspended on historic 86-km-long Mughal road and national highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir, a traffic police official said this morning.
About 7000 Kashmir bound vehicles, including 3000 trucks carrying essentials, including vegetables, 504 oil tankers and 3400 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs), which were stranded at different places on the highway, have reached Kashmir valley till late last night.
There were intermittent landslides and shooting stones between Ramban and Ramsu on Wednesday also disrupting traffic. However, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Beacon authorities immediately pressed into service sophisticated machines and again put through the highway, he said.
The NHAI and Beacon have deployed men and machine at landslides and shooting stone prone areas who are working round the clock to clear the road.
He said it was decided to allow only Jammu to Kashmir traffic today also to clear all Kashmir bound stranded vehicles. No vehicle, including security force convoy would be allowed from opposite direction, he added.
However, he said there is a weather advisory from Met department that there may be heavy rain and snow during the next 24 hours. People undertaking the journey on the highway are requested to contact Traffic Control Units (TCUs) before starting their journey.
Meanwhile, over 3000 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying fruits, empty oil tankers, are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel for the past about two weeks. Even the fruit laden trucks are not being allowed to move, the truckers stranded at Qazigund alleged.
Closure of the highway for over a week led to acute shortage and price rice of essentials, particularly vegetables and petrol and diesel. Divisional authorities imposed restriction on sale of petrol and diesel to vehicles. However, the situation has now changed after the arrival of essentials, including oil tankers, from Jammu yesterday.
People however, alleged that concerned department, including animal husbandry and municipalities have failed to establish naka checking to foil any attempt by traders to import dead chicken and sheep into Kashmir valley.
Meanwhile, traffic on the highway, connecting Ladakh with Kashmir, remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of heavy snowfall which has now frozen. However, traffic from border town of Kargil to Leh was through. The highway is likely to reopen in March or April.
The Anantnag-Kishtwar and Shopian to Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region roads also remained closed since December last year.