Srinagar: Traffic was again suspended on the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, Monday afternoon following fresh landslides, a traffic police official said.
Despite massive snow clearance operation , large number of vehicles remained stranded on both sides of the Zojila pass following closure of the national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir, due to heavy winds, accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.
The historic 86-km-long Mughal road also remained closed due to accumulation of snow which has now frozen resulting in slippery conditions, a traffic police official told UNI Monday.
He said there were fresh landslides at Magarkote forcing authorities to suspend traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to put through the highway, he said, adding continued shooting stones was hampering the operation. There were landslides at Chanderkote on Saturday which were cleared and traffic was resumed only Sunday morning.
He said both Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) were allowed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu. However, Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) stranded between Jawahar Tunnel to Banihal were allowed to move towards Jammu before the landslides, he added.
Meanwhile, hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on the Srinagar-Leh national highway on both sides of the Zojila pass, where men from Beacon are working to remove the frozen snow, official sources said.
Due to below minus 20 degree minimum temperature and sub zero maximum temperature, snow at Zojila pass had frozen, sources told UNI adding continued strong icy winds also hampered snow clearance operation. Large number of vehicles from different parts of the Ladakh region are stranded at Sonamarg and other areas in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal. Similarly, Kashmir bound vehicles have been stopped at different places on other side of the Zojila in Kargil district. Hectic efforts are going on to clear the snow by using sophisticated machines, salt and urea so that stranded vehicles are allowed to move towards their respective destinations before the highway is declared closed for winter months.
The Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed due to accumulation of snow, sources said, adding there is very little chance of reopening of the road which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu highway. The road which was this summer used for transportation of fresh fruit from Kashmir to other parts of the country, remained closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall.