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Fresh landslide in Banihal briefly closes Sgr-Jmu highway

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Srinagar, Dec 20: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which reopened Thursday, was again briefly closed for traffic after a fresh landslide here, officials said.

The 270-km road connecting Kashmir to Jammu was shut Wednesday after a landslide sent stones hurling down a hillock in Banihal's Gangroo area.

One-way traffic resumed on the highway Thursday morning after authorities allowed Srinagar-bound vehicles to proceed, the officials said.

However, traffic was stopped around 11 am after a landslide occurred at Kharpur near Banihal – the gateway town to the Kashmir Valley, blocking the highway, they said.

They said agencies concerned immediately pressed machines and workers into service and the road was cleared around 3 pm.

Traffic was plying smoothly on the highway when last reports were received, the officials said.

On Wednesday, authorities did not allow fresh traffic on the highway either from Srinagar or Jammu. This was done as several vehicles were stranded in Gangroo.

The stranded vehicles were allowed to proceed and one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar was resumed Thursday, only to be halted again for five hours after the landslide in Kharpur.

Traffic on the highway is restricted to one-way over the past several months, in view of the ongoing four-lanning project.

The Mughal road, which connects the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in the Jammu region with south Kashmir's Shopian district, was closed for traffic for the winter months, the officials said.

The decision was taken after the agency maintaining the road, recommended for its closure due to slippery conditions, even as it managed to clear the road of snow, they said.

The traffic on the road was suspended early last week following heavy snowfall in high-altitude areas, including Peer Ki Gali, along the highway.

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