Only one-way traffic to continue on Srinagar-Jammu highway till further orders

SRINAGAR, Feb 3 (Agencies): Only one-way traffic will continue till further orders on 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.

However, despite considerable improvement in the weather after the end of 40-day-long Chilai-Kalan on January 30, coldest period of winter, there is no change in the situation on 434-km-long national highway, linking Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic Mughal road which remained closed for the past about two months due to accumulation of about 6 feet to 12 feet of snow.

There is major improvement in the weather for the past few days but only one-way traffic will continue on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway till further orders to avoid traffic jam, a traffic official said, adding today up convoy will ply.

He said Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will have to cross Nagrota between 0700 hrs to 1200 hrs. Later, Kashmir Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) will ply in the afternoon, he said, adding no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction. The road is very narrow at several places, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, where only one vehicle could pass easily.

During this winter when about 300 per cent more snow was experienced in Kashmir valley against last year, badly hitting surface and air traffic. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was frequently closed due to snowfall and landslides, resulting in shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables, fruits and meat since valley is entirely dependent upon imports.

Meanwhile, there was also acute shortage of petrol, diesel and LPG gas cylinders in the valley for some time. Majority gas agencies have stopped home delivery due to short supply. Truckers alleged that it took them about a month for a tip to Kashmir valley and back to Jammu.

Meanwhile, there was no chance of early reopening of Srinagar-Leh national highway despite improvement in the weather. There are over 10 feet to 12 feet of snow accumulated on the highway. The road is likely to reopen in March or April, official sources said. A number of far flung and remote areas also remained cut off with district headquarter Kargil.

The 86-km-long historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed for the past two months due to accumulation of 6 to 12 feet of snow. The road is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

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