One side of Jammu-Srinagar NH opened to traffic

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UDHAMPUR/BANIHAL/JAMMU: One way of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was cleared for vehicular traffic late on Friday after it remained closed for a major portion of the fourth consecutive day owing to landslides, officials said.

The 270-km highway was blocked since Tuesday due to landslides, mudslides and shooting stones at 33 places in Ramban and Udhampur districts.

A 150-feet-long road stretch and an under-construction bridge on the highway were also washed away due to flash-floods triggered by heavy rains.

On Thursday evening, officials were upbeat about clearing the approximately 1,300 stranded vehicles on the highway by this evening, saying the road clearance work was being carried out on a war footing.

However, it took a major hit this afternoon as a fresh landslide occurred on the hill top, bringing the restoration work at Dewal bridge near Samroli to a halt, officials said.

According to an advisory issued by the traffic department on Friday evening, trucks up to 10 tyres are advised to use Mughal Road between Jammu and Srinagar.

“To safeguard people from shooting stones at Panthyal, the National Highways Authority of India has been directed by the government to repair the steel tunnel,” it said.

Because of these necessary repairs, the traffic will remain suspended at Panthyal, it added.

Further, it said traffic movement will be completely blocked on Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road every Friday in view of maintenance and repairing on Zoji La axis.

Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Mussarat Islam, who is personally monitoring the road clearance operation at various places on national highway, appealed to the commuters to contact traffic control rooms before starting their journey on the highway. (PTI)