Srinagar, Dec 2
The 434-km-long national highway, linking Ladakh region with the Kashmir valley, reopened today after remaining closed for two days due to snowfall and slippery road conditions.
The historic Mughal road and Bandipora to border town of Gurez are open though only day traffic is allowed to avoid any accident. We allowed vehicles, including those carrying passengers and empty trucks from Meenmarg, Drass and Kargil towards Kashmir valley this morning, a traffic police official told UNI.
Vehicles, including those carrying essentials for the Ladakh region besides passengers will be allowed to travel from Sonmarg in central Kashmir in the afternoon, he said.
Traffic on the highway was closed on November 30 following more than six inches to about one feet of snowfall between Sonmarg-Zojila, Zero-point and Meenmarg.
A large number of vehicles, including some of them carrying passengers, got stranded at several places, including Zojila pass.
However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highwy, pressed into service to clear the snow on the highway. The road had become slippery after snow was frozen due to below freezing temperature, particularly at Zojila pass.
Police and civil administration immediately swung into action and cleared some of the stranded vehicles towards Drass. The stranded passengers besides drivers and conductors were also taken to safer places from Zojila, officials said.
However, some of the vehicles, which had developed technical fault have also been removed from the road till last evening.
We allowed traffic from other side of the Zojila pass towards Kashmir this morning, they said adding traffic is plying now normally.
Vehicles, including those carrying passengers, which were stranded on Sonmarg for the past two days will be allowed to proceed towards Leh in the afternoon as per traffic schedule.
Normally the Leh highway was being closed from November Ist for six winter months in the past due to snowfall and below freezing temperature. However, for the past few years the highway remained open till weather permits.
Meanwhile, Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region was through though only day traffic is allowed as road gets slippery due to considerable drop in the temperature during night.
Similarly only day traffic is allowed on Bandipora and border town of Gurez in north Kashmir.
Srinagar, Dec 2