Srinagar, March 12:
Traffic has been suspended for weekly Friday maintenance on the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
A traffic police official said on Friday that no vehicular movement shall be allowed on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway from both sides in view of the maintenance and repair of the road.
After traffic was being disrupted frequently due to landslides and shooting stones, the Union Territory (UT) administration decided to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to undertake necessary maintenance and repair work on the road so that road is through during other days.
However, the locals between Banihal and Ramsu alleged that since NHAI started work to convert the road into four-lane, incidents of landslides and shooting has witnessed increase.
Only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway to prevent any traffic jam and accidents. However, people travelling on the highway alleged that frequent traffic jam for hours has become a daily routine. Meanwhile, the national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir valley remained closed since January Ist, 2021 due to accumulation of snow.
However, Beacon had cleared the snow and declared the highway open on February 28 only to suspend traffic again after few hours due to fresh snowfall and avalanches.
There was fresh snowfall on the highway, particularly between Sonamarg, Zojila pass and Meenmarg during the past 48 hours. There was fresh snowfall on the historic 86-km-long Mughal road which remained closed for any traffic or pedestrian movement since December last year.
There are many avalanche prone areas on the road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. The Anantnag-Kishtwar road also remained closed due to accumulation of snow.