Over 1,200 stranded passengers ferried by IAF

More than 1,200 tourists and locals stranded in Jammu and Srinagar due to bad weather were Saturday airlifted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) between the two cities, officials said.

Jammu: Stranded passengers wait to board a special IAF plane at Technical Airport in Jammu on Saturday. The Jammu and Kashmir government organized special Indian Air Force (IAF) sorties between summer capital Srinagar and winter capital Jammu to airlift stranded passengers as the Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed on Saturday morning due to highly slippery road conditions following snowfall. PTI Photo

The Jammu and Kashmir government arranged special IAF flights between the summer and winter capitals as the Srinagar-Jammu highway remained blocked. "I personally supervised the evacuation," Kashmir's Divisional Commissioner Asghar Hussain Samoon told IANS here.

Around 2,000 passengers had registered themselves for airlift in the two cities. Authorities gave priority to tourists moving from Srinagar to Jammu and to locals flying from Jammu to Srinagar.

Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Jammu highway was restored for one-way traffic by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Saturday. Inspector General of Police (Traffic) Hemant Kumar Lohia said trucks stranded in the Kashmir Valley would move Sunday from Qazigund in Anantnag district to Jammu, the winter capital.

In addition, State Road Transport Corp (SRTC) buses would play from Srinagar to Jammu. But these buses must cross Khannabal in Anantnag before 10 a.m. "No other vehicle will be allowed to move on the highway tomorrow (Sunday)," Kumar said.

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