Jammu-Srinagar highway remains closed for second day

Banihal/Jammu: The 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the second consecutive day on Saturday as inclement weather triggered more landslides at several places in Ramban district, traffic officials said.

The traffic on the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was suspended on Friday, leaving hundreds of trucks carrying essential commodities to the valley stranded.

“Several fresh landslides occurred between Panthiyal and Ramsu…due to continuous rainfall which is hampering the road clearance operation, an official of the traffic department said.

He said shooting of stones from hillocks overlooking the highway near Planthiyal was also going on.

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“The clearance operation was started at Cafeteria Morh near Ramban, while men and machines are ready to move to other affected areas once the weather permits, the official said.

The highway is presently open to essential services only in view of the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.

While the high altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall, the plains including the lower hills witnessed intermittent rains since early Friday.

The weatherman has predicted intermittent light to moderate rain at fairly widespread places with thunderstorm and strong gusty winds at a speed of 30 to 40 kms per hour at scattered places across Jammu and Kashmir till April 19.

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Overall, weather is likely to remain erratic during next one week, he said.

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