Avalanche, landslides keep J-K highway closed for third day

Avalanche, landslides keep J-K highway closed for third day

Kashmir Valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the third day today due to heavy snowfall, fresh landslides and an avalanche hitting the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

Due to the closure of the vital road link, over 1500 vehicles are stranded at various points on the highway.

"The highway is closed for the third consecutive day today. Two major landslides and an avalanche hit the highway in Ramban sector", Superintendent of Police, Ramban, Anil Magotra said.

After clearance of snow, two major landslides triggered by rains hit the highway at Panthal and Sher Bibi area in Ramban district, he said, adding an avalanche hit the highway at Nachlana area.

Four blasts have been engineered to break the heavy rock-load on the highway and clear it at Panthan by the Border Road Organisation (BRO).

"These landslides are major ones and would take four-five hours to clear part of it to make the highway open for one-way traffic", he said. The men and machines of Border Road Organisation (BRO) are working to clear the highway of the landslides, avalanche and snowfall.

Over 1500 vehicles are stranded at various places en route the highway, police said in Jammu. The vehicles are stuck up at Nagrota, Udhampur, Kud, Ramban and Jawahir tunnel.

"No vehicle has been allowed to move from Nagrota checkpost to Kashmir and Doda districts in view of the closure of the highway", officials in Jammu, said.

Traffic police authorities have stopped Srinagar-bound vehicles at Nagrota in Jammu and Udhampur.

The inter-districts highways of Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch and Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar have also been closed in view of the snowfall and landslides.

In Srinagar, a traffic department official said the 294-km long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway will remain closed for all vehicular movement due to heavy snowfall along the Qazigund-Banihal sector.

The official said 457 vehicles are stranded on the Kashmir side of the highway. The highway was opened last evening to clear stranded vehicles but had to be closed again late at night due to fresh snowfall, the official said, adding the road will remain closed till further orders.

Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is a vital road link which connects valley with the rest of the country and acts as a supply channel for all essential commodities to the region.