Srinagar, Apr 19: The 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was on Sunday reopened for essential service vehicles after remaining closed for two days due to landslides, triggered by incessant rains.
However, the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, connecting Ladakh with Kashmir valley, remained shut for the fifth successive day on Sunday due to slippery road conditions and snowfall. Only essential commodity vehicles were being allowed on the highway in view of lockdown to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
A traffic police official told UNI that Kashmir highway was on Sunday morning reopened after remaining closed for the two days due to landslides at Battery Mode and adjoining areas, triggered by incessant rain.
He said Border Road Organization (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the road, pressed into service sophisticated machines and cleared the landslides. “After receiving a green signal from the traffic police officials on the ground, essential service vehicles were allowed this morning on the highway,” he said.
Traffic on the highway was suspended on Friday afternoon due to landslides and shooting stones at Battery Mode and adjoining areas in Ramban.
He said traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway remained suspended for the fifth day due to landslides and intermittent snowfall since Wednesday. “Beacon project, responsible for maintenance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow and landslides from the highway,” he said, adding once a green signal is received from traffic police and BRO officers, traffic will be allowed on the highway.
The 434-km-long highway reopened on April 11 after remaining closed for the past about five months due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. However, only vehicles carrying essentials, including petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders, were allowed to ply on the highway.
He said no passenger vehicles will be allowed on the highway, where health checkup for truckers and their helpers -- while going to Ladakh and the way back -- has been made mandatory to curtail the spread of Coronavirus. “Only a driver and a helper would be allowed with a truck, carrying essential commodities to the Union Territory of Ladakh,” he added.
“Due to the sub-zero temperature, trucks are being allowed to move to Leh UT, from 10 am onwards,” he said, adding each truck will carry only 11 tones of load on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway, because of hilly, slippery terrain and weather vagaries.(UNI)