Srinagar, Feb 4 : Vehicles on Tuesday were plying from Srinagar to Jammu on the 270-km long National Highway, which connects Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, as only one way traffic will continue on the road till further orders.
However, despite considerable improvement in the weather after the end of 40-day-long ChilaiKalan on January 30, coldest period of winter, there is no change in the situation on 434-km long Srinagar-Leh national highway and historic Mughal road which remained closed for the past about two months due to accumulation of about 6 feet to 12 feet of snow. ''One-way traffic was on Tuesday allowed from Srinagar to Jammu,'' a traffic official said.
He said despite improvement in the weather, only one-way traffic will continue on the Srinagar- Jammu National Highway till further orders following bad road conditions to avoid traffic jam. However, he said Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) will have to cross Jawahar tunnel till 1pm. ''No vehicle was allowed from the opposite direction,'' he said, adding the road is very narrow at several places, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, where only one vehicle could pass easily.
During this winter, about 300 per cent more snow was experienced in Kashmir valley against last year, badly hitting surface and air traffic. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was frequently closed due to snowfall and landslides, resulting in shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables, fruits and meat since valley is entirely dependent upon imports. There was also an acute shortage of petrol, diesel and LPG gas cylinders in the valley for some time.
Majority gas agencies have stopped home delivery due to short supply. Truckers alleged that it took them about a month for a trip to Kashmir valley and back to Jammu. Meanwhile, there was no chance of early reopening of the Srinagar-Leh National Highway despite improvement in the weather. There is over 10 feet to 12 feet of snow accumulated on the highway.
The road is likely to reopen in March or April, official sources said. A number of far-flung and remote areas also remained cut off with district headquarters Kargil. The 86-km-long historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region also remained closed for the past two months due to accumulation of 6 to 12 feet of snow. The road is seen as an alternative to the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. (UNI)