Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

Kashmir highway closed again, thousands of vehicles stranded

Srinagar: Several thousand vehicles remained stranded after traffic was suspended on the highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, due to fresh landslides and shooting on Tuesday.
However, the national highway, linking Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic 86-km-long Mughal road are also through for one-way traffic today, a traffic police official told UNI today.
He said it was decided not to allow fresh traffic from Jammu or Srinagar today until all stranded vehicles on the highway are cleared. However, he said, when the stranded vehicles were moving towards their respective destinations, thee was fresh landslides and shooting stones at Digdol. We have suspended traffic, he said adding the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have already pressed into service machines and men to clear the landslides and put through traffic. However, he said, continued shooting stones was hampering road clearance operation.
Traffic on the highway remained disrupted due to landslides and shootings frequently badly affected transportation of apple from here to different parts of the country besides imports of essentials, including fresh vegetables, prices of which had increased many fold.
There will be no ban on civilian traffic movement on Wednesday after authorities amended the order. Now ban on civilian traffic will be on Sunday only. Authorities had imposed ban on civilian traffic twice in a week on Sunday and Wednesday to allow free and safe movement of security force convoy on the highway. Ban was imposed after 44 CRPF personnel were killed in a fidayeen attack in February at Awantipora in Pulwama and similar unsuccessful attempt near Jawahar tunnel.
He said only one-way traffic will ply on Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. Due to uncertain condition of Srinagar-Jammu national highway, majority vehicles now prefer to travel on Mughal road, which was reopened recently after remaining closed due to accumulation of snow for about six months. Today traffic will ply from Rajouri and Poonch to Shopian. LMVs were allowed to ply from 0500 hrs to 0900 hrs while HMVs from 0900 to 1500 hrs from Behramgalla.
Today traffic will ply from Kargil to Srinagar on the national highway, linking Ladakh with Kashmir, traffic official said. He said no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction. However, he said, LMVs will have to ply between 0700 hrs to 1000 hrs while HMVs from 1000 hrs to 1300 hrs from Minimarg.


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The Kashmir Horizon