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Traffic jams force one-way movement on Jmu-Sgr highway

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Banihal, Oct 06: Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was restricted to one way on Saturday to ensure smooth movement of vehicles as commuters over the past fortnight were complaining of nightmarish experience owing to frequent and massive traffic jams, officials said.

Only Srinagar-bound vehicles were allowed to move on the 270-km highway, Saturday morning. Traffic from Srinagar will be allowed to ply on the highway on Sunday, they said.

According to the Senior Superintendent of Police, National Highway, Shakti Kumar Pathak, “The decision to restrict the traffic between Srinagar and Jammu to one-way on alternate days, was taken to avoid frequent and massive traffic snarls.”

He said the transportation of fruit from Kashmir to outside markets and movement of nomadic families with their animals, coupled with the work on four-laning the highway were the main reasons for the traffic jams, especially between Banihal and Ramban sectors.

The nomadic families, mostly Gujjars and Bakerwals, undertake seasonal migration in search of greener pastures during summer and winter. While they move to the higher reaches of Kashmir with the onset of spring, they return before the onset of the winter to Jammu zone to keep their animals safe.

Asserting that the restrictions would remain in place till further orders, Pathak said the local traffic of Chenab valley and light motor vehicles from Banihal railway station would, however, be allowed to ply as normal.

He said the commuters are advised to exhibit highest order of driving discipline on the highway in general and while crossing Chenani-Nashri tunnel in particular.

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