More than 2000 vehicles stranded on Kashmir highway

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Srinagar, Dec 13 (UNI) More than 2000 vehicles, majority of them trucks loaded with essential commodities, were stranded on the 300-km-long consecutive Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which remained, closed for the third day today due to heavy snowfall.

It was still snowing between Qazigund to Banihal on the highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, official sources said.

They said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, had pressed into service hundreds of workers and machines to clear the snow from the highway.

About three feet of snow had accumulated near the Jawahar tunnal, the highest point on the highway, about 90 km from here, they said.

At Qazigund about 2.5 feet of snowfall has been recorded till this morning with snowfall continuing, a report from south Kashmir said.

The highway was declared unsafe for journey on December 11 after the road become slippery due to snowfall.

The sources said more than 2000 vehicles, majority of them trucks were stranded between Banihal to Batote. However, the authorities have stopped other vehicles at Udhampur and Jammu.

No vehicle was allowed to leave for Jammu or Srinagar this morning. Officials said fresh vehicles will be allowed to leave summer and winter capitals only when all the stranded vehicles were cleared.

They said efforts were being made to clear the passenger vehicles, stranded on the highway for the past two days. Thousands of passengers have also been stranded at Jammu.

Hundreds of passengers, mostly non-Kashmiries, including labourers from Bihari, were also stranded, they added.


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