Jammu, Apr 5: The strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for the fifth day on Sunday, triggering shortages of essentials of life in the landlocked valley.
"Fresh landslides in Magarkoot and three other places in Ramban sector of the Jammu-Srinagar highway has hampered our efforts to clear the road," a senior officer of the traffic department told IANS in Jammu. [Two soldiers killed, two injured in Ladakh avalanche]
"The highway was opened late yesterday afternoon to clear stranded trucks carrying essential supplies to the valley, but it had to be closed again as fresh landslides hit the road in Magarkoot and three other places in Ramban district," the official said.
"There shall be no traffic on the highway today (Sunday) from either side. Intending travellers are advised to contact control rooms in Jammu and Srinagar before undertaking the journey." [3 more bodies retrieved, toll rises to 20 in landslides]
Prolonged closure of the landlocked valley's only surface link to the rest of the country has triggered an acute shortage of essentials of life. [Srinagar-Jammu highway shut for third day, passengers stranded]
Shortage of edibles including vegetables, pulses, mutton, chicken, eggs and at many places, cooking gas and kerosene has been causing hardships to the locals.
Unscrupulous traders, who are always on the lookout for the closure of the highway, resort to hoarding and profiteering when heavy snowfall or rain triggered landslides result in closure of the road.
Meanwhile, Sonam Lotus, director of the state Met office told IANS that the weather is likely to remain dry during the next three to four days across Jammu and Kashmir.
"Weather is expected to remain mainly dry during the next three to four days in Jammu and Kashmir," Lotus said.