Roads connecting Kashmir with Jammu, Ladakh closed due snowfall


JAMMU, Nov 7: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was closed on Thursday due to heavy snowfall, first of the season, since early Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway and historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained closed for the second day due to heavy snowfall. The Meteorol-ogical department has already predicted heavy snowfall in the Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from November 6 to November 8. It was heavily snowing on this side of the Jawahar tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway since early this morning, a traffic police official said.
He said about a feet of snow had accumulated at tunnel, ShaitanNallah and Banihal due to which the road has become very slippery, forcing authorities to suspend traffic movement as a precautionary measure.
Several inches of snow had also accumulated at Qazigund, gateway of Kashmir on the highway in south Kashmir, he said adding it was still snowing.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has already pressed into service sophisticated machines to clear the snow and restore traffic movement, he said adding but continued snowfall has hampered the operation.
He said it was heavily raining at Ramban, Penthal and other places on other side of the tunnel. The official said traffic will be allowed only after receiving green signal from the BRO and traffic police officials posted at different places on the highway.
Meanwhile, hundreds of vehicles, carrying essentials for Kashmir valley, have been stopped at Jammu, Udhampur and other places on the highway. Large number of passengers are also stranded at different places in Jammu region. Trucks, carrying fruits for different mandis of the country, including Jammu and Delhi, are also stranded on this side of the tunnel.
The historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch, also remained closed for the second day today due to snowfall. Over one to two feet of snow had accumulated on the road, including at HerporaShopian and Pir-Ki-Gali. A large number of vehicles are stranded on the road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The centre has already approved a tunnel to make it all weather road, which remained closed for six winter months due to heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile, the national highway, linking UT Ladakh with the Kashmir valley, also remained closed for the second day today due to snowfall and slippery road condition. About one to two feet of snowfall was recorded on the highway at Sonamarg and Zojila pass besides snowfall was received at Meenmarg.
Hundreds of trucks besides passenger vehicle are stranded on both sides of the Zojila pass due to slippery road conditions following snowfall.
The BRO has pressed into service snow clearance machines to put through the highway, which also remained closed for winter months. However, due to avalanche threat and continued snowfall, snow clearance operation gets hampered, he said.

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