Jammu-Srinagar highway closed due to landslide in Ramban


BANIHAL, May 14: The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was closed for traffic on Thursday due to a landslide in Ramban district that left over 1,500 vehicles stranded, officials said.
The 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir to the rest of the country, was blocked by a landslide at Digdol area. As a result, over 1,500 heavy motor vehicles (HMVs) and 200 light motor vehicles (LMVs) are stranded at different points, the officials said.
Senior Superintendent of Police J S Johar said men and machinery had been deployed to clear the area, adding that are a large number of people were stranded in traffic.
The SSP said there would be no movement from Jammu to Srinagar on the highway until the debris are cleared. The highway had remained closed from May 9-11 due to landslides and one-way traffic was allowed on the highway, the officer added.
Dilbag Singh also visited landslide-prone areas on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and directed officers and a construction company to initiate measures immediately to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, is facing frequent closure due to landslides in 12-km zone from Panthiyal to Ramsu in Ramban district.
The director general of police, along with IGP (Traffic) Alok Kumar visited a number of places in Ramban and held meeting with officers regarding recurrent closure of the highway and measures required for smooth flow of traffic, a police spokesperson said.
Singh along with officers and representative of Hindustan Construction Company Manohar Sharma had an on-the-spot review of the major landslide-prone sites and inspected the measures being taken by the firm so that the highway remains open, he said.
The officers briefed the DGP regarding recurring landslides on vulnerable sites and the difficulties being faced by them in maintaining smooth flow of traffic, the spokesperson said. The DGP appreciated the role of Ramban SHO Vijay Kotwal in providing timely CPR aid to a commuter last week, thereby saving a life.
"As a token of appreciation, the DGP presented him a commendation certificate and a cash reward of Rs 5,000 and instructed officers to be well versed in providing CPR," the spokesperson said.
K Vijay Kumar, the advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir governor has also lauded the SHO and announced a cash reward of Rs 5,000 for him, the spokesperson added.

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