Srinagar, February 19:

Traffic on the National Highway, the only road connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir valley, is likely to resume soon as snow clearance operation at Zojila pass is almost completed while the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway will remain closed on Friday for weekly maintenance and repair work.

Meanwhile, the 86-km-long historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow, particularly at Pir-ki-Gali.

However, massive snow clearance operation was going on Anantnag-Kishtwar road which is likely to reopen for traffic about a month earlier this time.

Due to major improvement in the weather in the moth of last week of January, massive snow clearance operation was launched on Srinagar-Leh national highway. Tourist resort of Sonmarg on the highway will be opened for traffic after snow clearance operation has been completed.

Snow clearance has also been almost completed at Zojila pass and the highway is likely to reopen soon. The highway was closed from January Ist, 2021. However, there is a forecast for more snow and rain next week on the highway which could have some impact on early opening of the road.

A traffic police official said today that no traffic will ply from Jammu or Srinagar on the highway to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to undertake necessary weekly maintenance, particularly between Ramban and Ramsu, the most trouble area.

After frequent disruption of traffic on the highway due to landslides and shooting stones besides massive traffic jam due to road widening work by NHAI in November last year, the UT administration announced to allow Friday for road maintenance. Only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway to allow free movement of vehicles despite major improvement in the weather.

Meanwhile, a fresh Western Disturbance (WD) is likely to affect the region during evening of February 22 to 27 which could impact air and surface traffic.