Fresh landslides; Jammu-Srinagar NH closed for 2nd day

Jammu-Srinagar NH closed for second day as fresh landslides hamper restoration work

The 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the second day on Wednesday as heavy rains triggered fresh landslides at different places in Ramban district hampering road clearance operation, officials said.

The highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed for vehicular traffic early Tuesday after a massive landslide damaged a portion of the road at Dalwas leaving thousands of vehicles, mostly trucks, stranded on either side.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Traffic, National Highway, Ajay Anand said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is working on the Dalwas landslide to make the road trafficable but fresh landslides and shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway at various places including Panthiyal, Monkey Morh, Maroog and Kunfer-Chanderkote overnight hit the restoration work.

“The men and machines are on the job to clear the road of the debris despite inclement weather but there are very little chances of road being made trafficable today,” he told PTI.

The weather office had forecast moderate to heavy rainfall till Thursday in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said the restoration work at Dalwas was also affected for several hours on Tuesday following a protest by a group of people whose houses were damaged in a landslide in the same area in March.

The protesters were demanding compensation for the 40 families whose houses suffered damages in the previous landslide, they said, adding that the matter was later resolved following intervention by the district magistrate of Ramban.

In March, a massive landslide damaged 28 houses and a 500-metre portion of the highway.                

The officials said over 500 vehicles, mostly trucks, remained stranded in Banihal-Nashri sector and will be cleared on priority once the road is made traffic-worthy.

Thousands of trucks are also stranded on the highway in Anantnag-Qazigund sector in Kashmir and Jammu-Udhampur sector in Jammu region, the officials said.