Srinagar: The national highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road, remained closed for the third day on Thursday following accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.
However, the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country will remain closed on Friday for maintenance, a traffic police official told UNI today.
Traffic on Srinagar-Leh national highway was suspended on Tuesday morning following fresh snowfall. The road has become slippery due to accumulation of snow, he said, adding that there is also forecast for more snowfall during the next 24 hours.
He said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has put into service sophisticated machines to clear the snow on the highway.
Traffic will be resumed only after receiving green signal, he said adding that night traffic movement from 1800 hrs to 0900 hrs next morning will remain suspended on the highway between Gagangir and Sonamarg.
This year, the government has decided to keep the highway open till December end provided. The highway remained closed during winter months due to accumulation of 10 to 15 feet of snow on the highway, particularly at Zojila, Meenmarg, Zero point, India gate and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia.
The historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, also remained closed for any traffic movement for the third due to accumulation of snow, traffic official said.
Traffic on the road was resumed recently after remaining closed for over a week due to snowfall. The road, also seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu highway, remains closed for six winter months due to snow and avalanches.
Traffic official said that traffic will ply from Jammu to Srinagar on the highway. However, Srinagar bound Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will have to cross Nagrota Jammu between0500 hrs to 1100hrs and Jakheni Udhampur 0600 hrs to 1200 hrs, he said. No vehicle will be allowed after cut off timing. Commuters are advised to follow Standard Operating Procedure (SOG) issued by the government to prevent spread of COVID-19.
About Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs), he said only stranded vehicles at Nagrota and Nashree will be allowed to move towards Srinagar. However, he said, Traffic Control Unit (TCU) Ramban will coordinate for release of oil tankers and perishable carriers from opposite direction.
Security force vehicles will also ply from Jammu to Srinagar, he said.
There will be no traffic on Friday to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) maintenance and repair of the highway, he said adding it has been decided to allow the NHAI to repair damaged road on Fridays.