Jammu-Srinagar highway closed for 2nd consecutive day due to landslides

SRINAGAR, Apr 18 (Agencies): 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 Saturday due to landslides, triggered by incessant rains.

Meanwhile, the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, connecting Ladakh with Kashmir valley, also remained shut for the fourth successive day on Saturday due to snowfall.

Only essential commodity vehicles were being allowed on the highways in view of lockdown to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.

A traffic police official said that Kashmir highway remained closed for the second successive day on Saturday due to landslides at Battery Mode and adjoining areas, triggered by incessant rain.

He said Border Road Organization (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the road has pressed into service sophisticated machines and man to clear the landslides. But, wet weather has hampered the clearance operation.

Traffic on the highway was suspended on Friday afternoon due to landslides and shooting stones at Battery Mode and adjoining areas in Ramban.

He said traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway remained suspended for the fourth day due to landslides and intermittent snowfall since Wednesday. “Beacon project, responsible for maintenance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow and landslides from the highway,” he said, adding once a green signal is received from traffic police and BRO officers, traffic will be allowed on the highway.

The 434-km-long highway reopened on Saturday after remaining closed for the past about five months due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. However, only vehicles carrying essentials, including petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders, were allowed to ply on the highway.

He said no passenger vehicles will be allowed on the highway, where health checkup for truckers and their helpers — while going to Ladakh and the way back — has been made mandatory to curtail spread of Coronavirus. “Only a driver and a helper would be allowed with a truck, carrying essential commodities to the Union Territory of Ladakh,” he added.

 “Due to the sub-zero temperature, trucks are being allowed to move to Leh UT, from 1000 hrs onwards,” he said, adding each truck will carry only 11 tones of load on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway, because of hilly, slippery terrain and weather vagaries.

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