Traffic on Kashmir highway restored after 7 hours, Leh still closed

April 6:Traffic on the national highway, connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was resumed today after remaining closed for more than seven hours due to landslides. Meanwhile, the national highway, linking Ladakh region with Kashmir valley and historic Mughal road and Bandipora-Gurez road remained closed due to accumulation of snow.
About half a dozen roads linking far flung and remote areas with border town of Uri remained closed due to landslides, triggered by heavy rains last week.
A traffic police official said that traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was stopped at 0300 hrs due to landslides. Some machinery which was being used for construction of four-way road also got struck at Nihal Rambah on the highway.
The Border Roads Organisation(BRO), responsible for the maintainance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machine and men and put through the road. “We have allowed traffic on the highway today at 0900 hrs,” a police official at Ramban said over phone.
Large number of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and  essentials for the Kashmir valley left Jammu after the road was put through. No vehicle was allowed from Kashmir to Jammu, traffic police official said. He said heavy vehicles will continue to ply on alternative days from Jammu and Srinagar on the highway as at some places two vehicles cannot pass easily due to damage casued to the road.
Meanwhile, the highway between Kashmir and Leh remained closed as there was fresh snowfall, particularly at Zojila, Meenmarg and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, during the past 24 hours. The BRO had started snow clearance operation on the highway in early March to put through the strategically important road in the last week of last month.
However, fresh snowfall in late March and April has delayed the opening of the highway, closed since December last year. The highway would be now put through in the third or last week of this month, official sources said. Snow clearance operation was going on war footing on historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.
Fresh snowfall was recently experienced on the highway, including at Pir-ki-Gali. The road from Bandipora to border town of Gurez, surrounded by Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), in north Kashnir also remained closed. However, snow clearance operation was going on to put through the road to Gurez, where people are facing shortage of essentials

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