National Highway closed; Leh remains cut off, Mughal road shut

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Newspoint Bureau

Srinagar, February 12: National highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, besides roads linking dozens of villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) with their respective district headquarters, have been closed on Monday following fresh snowfall and slippery road conditions.

Meanwhile, the Ladakh region remained cut off from Kashmir valley, while the historic Mughal road also remained closed since December last year due to the accumulation of snow and slippery condition. Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway has been suspended on Monday following fresh snowfall since early this morning, a traffic police official said.

He said about six inches to one foot of snow had accumulated at Qazigund, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal and Shaitan Nallah. “The road has become slippery,” he said, adding traffic will be resumed on the highway only after getting green signal from the traffic officials posted at different places on the highway. The border roads organization (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway was on the job to put through the traffic, he said.

The traffic official said the 86-km-long historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained closed due to the accumulation of snow since December last year. On Monday, moderate to heavy snowfall was received at Pir-ki-Gali, Shopian and other places on the road, being considered as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The road is likely to reopen in April-May, he said.

The Ladakh region remained cut off from Kashmir valley due to closure of the Srinagar-Leh national highway following accumulation of snow, particularly between Sonamarg, where about 2 feet of snow was recorded today, and Zojila-Meenmarg. There was also fresh snowfall at Zojila pass, where the centre has already announced to construct a tunnel to make it all weather roads.

Meanwhile, dozens of far flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) were cut off with their respective district and Tehsil headquarters due to fresh snowfall in north Kashmir since Sunday night. “It was snowing heavily in the entire north Kashmir,” officials said. “We have closed Sadhna top, Z-Gali and Phirkiyan pass due to moderate to heavy snowfall since last night,” they said.

However, road between Bandipora to border town of Gurez remained closed due to accumulation of snow, particularly at Razdan top. It was snowing since early this morning, a Police Control Room (PCR) official said over phone from Bandipora. “The road is likely to reopen in March or April,” he said. Roads from Kupwara to border towns of Keran, Karnah, Machil, Tangdhar and dozens of other far flung and remote villages, including those near LoC, remained closed.

There was fresh snowfall since last night, a PCR official said from Kupwara. He said about six inches to one feet of fresh snowfall was received at Z-Gali, Phirkiyan pass and Sadhna top, where eleven persons, including Border Roads Organisation (BRO) officer, were killed in a snow avalanche in January this year.

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