Srinagar, Nov 28: The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir, remained closed for the second day on Thursday due to fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours.
The highway was put through after six days only on Tuesday when majority stranded vehicles were cleared.
There were several feet of fresh snowfall at Sonamarg and Zojila pass besides at Meenmarg and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, during the past 24 hours, a traffic police official said.
He said besides fresh snowfall, the road has become slippery following considerable drop in the temperature, due to which traffic remained suspended from both sides.
Traffic will be allowed only after clearance of snow and improvement in the weather, he said. He appealed to people to start their journey on the highway only after getting the latest report about the road condition from police and other agencies.
The highway, the only road connecting UT Ladakh with Kashmir, used to remain closed for six months during winter due to below freezing temperature and accumulation of snow since November 1 every year. However, for the past few years due to the efforts of the local administration and different agencies of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), highway now remains open in the month of December also till there is heavy snowfall.
Earlier, before the division of the state into two UTs the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, was taking decision to close the highway for winter months. However, since Ladakh has now become an independent UT, decision to close or reopen the highway will have to be taken by administration of UT Ladakh and Kashmir.
Officials said that there is less chance of reopening of the highway as more than five to six feet of snow has accumulated at several places and there is also threat of avalanches. (UNI)