Srinagar-Jammu highway reopens partially after 4 days

Srinagar: One-way traffic was resumed on Saturday on the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway after remaining suspended for four days due to landslides and shooting stones, triggered by rain at several places.
Several thousand vehicles, including those carry perishable and other essentials items besides passengers, got stranded on the highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
‘We have allowed Kashmir-bound vehicles, including trucks loaded with essentials and oil and gas tankers, to leave after the highway was restored for one-way, a traffic police official said.
He said no fresh vehicle will be allowed from Srinagar or Jammu till all stranded vehicles are cleared.
The highway was closed due to landslides, shooting stones over a dozen places, including Dalwas, Mehar, Trishul Morh, Cafeteria Morh, Ironstand Digdol, Panthyal, Monkey Morh, Mompassi, Battery Cheshma and other places between Nashree and Baniha.
However, the road clearance operation was being hampered due to continued landslides, mudslides and shooting stones. With improvement in the weather the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have now started road clearance operation.
Several thousand Kashmir-bound vehicles, mostly oil tankers and trucks with essentials got stranded on the highway for the past about a week. Most of these vehicles had been stopped at Udhampur, Chenani and other areas in Jammu region on the highway. However, truckers alleged that there is no arrangement of water, bath room and food since all hotels and restaurants are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
‘We are carrying some perishable items in the trucks which could get completely damaged if there is more delay’, the drivers said.
Similarly, oil tankers and empty trucks besides passengers are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel.
Passenger traffic remained suspended on the highway since March 5 due to COVID-19. Passengers having valid travel permit issued by Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir were being allowed to move. However, thousands of outside workers were brought to Kashmir valley in the recent months.
This is the second time the highway was closed for any traffic movement due to landslides and shooting stones during the past about one week. Earlier, traffic was resumed on the highway on August 22 after remaining suspended for two days.