One-way traffic to continue on Kashmir highway

Srinagar, Oct 21: One-way traffic will continue on the national highway connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country while traffic will ply from both sides on 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh and historic Mughal road.

Hundreds of vehicles, including trucks carrying essentials for Kashmir valley and Ladakh region, besides passengers, left different parts of Jammu early on Sunday morning, a traffic police official told media.

He said no vehicle, including security force convoy, will be allowed from Kashmir to Jammu.

He said due to road widening and repair work besides landslides occurring almost daily, it has been decided to allow only one-way traffic on the highway to avoid traffic jam and accidents.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) are on the job to make the highway safe for two-way traffic for all vehicles. Besides clearing landslides when it occur, both the agencies are working on road widening to make it four-lane, official sources said.

The other problem facing presently on the highway is shifting of livestock by Gujjar and Bakerwal communities from hills to plains, including different parts of Jammu region which also leads to traffic jams, they said.

The advisors and Chief secretary have already expressed concern over the closure of highway due to landslides and other reasons at a time when fruits are being exported to different parts of the country from Kashmir.

Essentials are also being imported from different parts of the country for Kashmir and Ladakh region which remained cut off during winter months due to heavy snowfall. However, authorities have stocked maximum essentials in Ladakh and far-flung and remote areas in Kashmir valley, which also remained snow-bound during winter.

Traffic official said the 86-km-long historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region was through for two-way traffic. Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) traffic will ply from both sides while Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) from Kashmir to other side of Pir-ki-Gali, where fresh snowfall was received during the past 24 hours. However, he said traffic is allowed only after assessing the road condition as in the morning the surface remained frozen due to sub zero temperature.
Traffic on 434-km-long national highway, the only road linking Ladakh with Kashmir was plying normally. Kashmir vehicles are being allowed from Drass and Kargil from early in the morning when no vehicle is allowed from opposite direction, he said, adding that later, traffic is allowed from here to other side of the Zojila pass.

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