Srinagar, Mar 20 : Traffic on the national highway, the only road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was suspended on Wednesday, due to fresh landslides and shootings, triggered by heavy rains during the night.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Leh national highway and the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained shut since December last year, due to accumulation of snow.
However, authorities have already started snow clearance operation on both the roads to put them through later this month or early next month.
'We have suspended traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, following landslides and shooting stones at Penthyal and other places between Ramban and Ramsu on Wednesday morning,' a traffic police official said.
He said rains and intermittent shooting stones has hampered the road clearance operation, launched by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
Both the agencies have pressed into service sophisticated machines to put through the traffic, he said, adding that there is also prediction for snow and rain, during the next 24 hours.
As per the schedule, vehicles were to ply from Jammu to Srinagar on Wednesday. He said Kashmir-bound vehicles were stopped at several places, including Udhampur, Chanderkote and Ramban.
Traffic will be resumed only after receiving green signal from traffic police officials posted at different places on the highway, he said, adding that vehicles stopped will be allowed to move towards Kashmir, before allowing fresh traffic.
Frequent suspension of traffic on the highway has resulted in shortage of essentials in the valley, which is entirely dependent on imports from other states.
The prices of fresh vegetables, besides chicken and meat, have witnessed a surge. Similarly, transport of apple from Kashmir to different mandis of the country is also affected. UNI