Only stranded vehicles from Jammu allowed on Kashmir highway

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Srinagar, Feb 4 (UNI) Traffic was partially allowed this afternoon on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, after remaining suspended due to heavy snowfall and landslides since last night.

Traffic movement on the highway has become unpredictable as the only road, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the world, often gets closed due to snowfall and landslides, triggered by rains.

'' We have not allowed any traffic movement from Srinagar or Jammu this morning because of heavy snowfall between Jawahar tunnel and Banihal area,'' a traffic police official told UNI here.

He said the road was again blocked since last evening following heavy snowfall and landslides at Penthal.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway had pressed into service about 40 machines and hundreds of labourers to make the highway traffic worthy as soon as possible.

The official said vehicles, stranded at different places on the highway on other side of the tunnel were allowed to move towards Srinagar this afternoon.

No vehicle from here was allowed to leave for Jammu, he said adding that decision to allow traffic on the highway tomorrow will be taken only in the morning after receiving reports from BRO and traffic police officials posted on the road.

Official sources said hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and truck loaded with essential commodities were stranded on the highway.

About one thousand tourists and others were also stranded in Srinagar.

We have confirmed railway tickets for tonight from Jammu, a group of tourists from Ahmedabad said who could not undertook the journey down to Jammu yesterday after they were sent back from Qazigund by the traffic officials.

They said they were told that no vehicle from Srinagar would be allowed to cross the tunnel after 1430 hrs. However, there was no restriction for passengers coming from Jammu, they alleged.

Similarly a large number of passengers, including tourists, were stranded at Jammu and other points on the highway on the other side of the tunnel.

UNI BAS MS RN1741

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