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J-K National Highway closed for fifth consecutive day, clearance work continues

The Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the fifth consecutive day on Saturday due to closure of the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway following mud and landslides besides shooting stones triggered by rain at several places.
Several thousand vehicles, including those carry perishable and other essentials items besides passengers, are stranded on the highway.
The highway was closed due to landslides, shooting stones over a dozen places, including Dalwas, Mehar, Trishul Morh, Cafeteria Morh, Ironstand Digdol, Panthyal, Monkey Morh, Mompassi, Battery Cheshma and other places between Nashree and Baniha.
The road clearance operation was hampered due to continued landslides, mudslides and shooting stones. However, with improvement in the weather, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) have now started road clearance operation.
The road clearance operation was going on a war-footing at all the affected places, a traffic police official said. However, he said, once the road is put through only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations before any fresh traffic will be allowed from Srinagar or Jammu.
Several thousand Kashmir bound vehicles, mostly oil tankers and trucks with essentials are stranded on the highway for the past about a week. Most of these vehicles had been stopped at Udhampur, Chenani and other areas in Jammu region on the highway.
However, truckers alleged that there is no arrangement of water, washroom and food since all hotels and restaurants are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. ‘We are carrying some perishable items in the trucks which could get completely damaged if there is more delay’, the drivers said.
Similarly, oil tankers and empty trucks besides passengers are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel.
This is the second time the highway was closed for any traffic movement due to landslides and shooting stones during the past about one week. Earlier, traffic was resumed on the highway on August 22 after remaining suspended for two days.
UNI BAS SB 0951
Passenger traffic remained suspended on the highway since March 5 due to COVID-19. Passengers having valid travel permit issued by Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir were being allowed to move. However, thousands of outside workers were brought to Kashmir valley in the recent months.

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