Kashmir valley remains cut off from country for 2nd day

March 18:The Kashmir valley remained cut off with the rest of the country for the second day today due to closure of the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway following landslides and shooting stones, triggered by heavy rains during the past 24 hours.
Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers, and trucks, are stranded at different places on the highway. Meanwhile, the national highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir valley, historic Mughal road and Bandipora-Gurez and Synthan-Kishtwar roads also remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow.
Dozens of villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), also remained cut off with their respective district and tehsil headquarters in north Kashmir due to fresh snowfall.
A traffic police official said this morning that the highway, connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed due to shooting stones and landslides at several places, including Penthal, Sher Bibi, Ramban, Ramsu and other places.
He said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway,was already on the job to put through the traffic. However, at some places, portion of road had been badly damaged due to landslides.
The official said if the road is put through again, only stranded vehicles would be allowed to move towards their respective destinations. No fresh vehicle from Jammu or Srinagar will be allowed before all stranded vehicles are cleared, he said.
He said since there is a forecast for more rain, decision to allow fresh traffic will be taken only after getting green signal from BRO and traffic police officials posted at different places on the highway.
Traffic was being suspended for the safety and security of the passengers, he said, adding that all those who had planned to undertake the travel must contact Police Control Room (PCR) or Traffic Control Rooms (RCRs) at Jammu or Srinagar before starting the journey.
Hundreds of light vehicles, including those carrying passengers, which left Jammu and Srinagar yesterday before the road was closed, are stranded on the highway at different places.
A group of tourists from Maharashtra — stranded at Qazigund on way back to Jammu — said they have railway booking for tomorrow. ave forced the closure of the road.

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