Traffic resumes after an hour on Jammu-Srinagar highway

JAMMU / SRINAGAR, Feb 18 (Agencies) : Traffic was resumed after remaining suspended for over one hour on 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country on Tuesday. Traffic was suspended as a precautionary measure after a suspicious box was found in Banihal area on the highway by Road Opening Party (ROP) at Banihal.

The entire area was sealed and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) was summoned, they said. However, the box was opened and no explosive material was found in it.

Traffic was later resumed after over one hour after receiving green signal from BDS, sources said. Hundreds of vehicles which had been stopped were allowed to move, they said adding there was traffic jam in the area. Today traffic was to ply from Srinagar to Jammu on the highway, official source said adding no vehicle was allowed from opposite direction. Only one-way traffic will continue to ply on the highway till further orders to avoid traffic jam as the road is still very narrow at some places, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, where only one vehicle could pass at a time.

He said Kashmir Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will have to cross Qazigund from 0700 hrs to 1200 hrs while Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) will be allowed in the afternoon. Meanwhile, there is no change in the situation as the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir remained closed for the past over two months. There is more than 6 feet to 12 feet of snow on the highway, including at Zojila pass, which has frozen due to below freezing temperature.

Similarly, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch and Anantnag-Kishtwar road remained closed due to accumulation of snow for the past two months. These roads are likely to reopen in March-April, officials said.

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