Srinagar-Leh highway remains closed due to snowfall, Kashmir NH open

SRINAGAR, Apr 16 (Agencies): The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, connecting Union Territory of Ladakh with Kashmir valley, remained closed for the second successive day on Thursday due to slippery road conditions following snowfall on Wednesday.

Only essential commodity vehicles were allowed on the highway last week after remaining shut for five months due to accumulation of several feet of snow.

Meanwhile, Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which connects Kashmir valley with rest of the country, was open for essential commodity vehicles.

“Traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway remained suspended for the second day due to slippery road conditions following fresh snowfall on Wednesday,” a traffic police official said.

He said Beacon project, responsible for maintenance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow from the highway. “Once a green signal is received from traffic police and BRO officers, traffic will be allowed on the highway,” he said.

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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