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Sgr-Jmu highway reopened for stranded vehicles

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Srinagar, Jan 23: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was reopened Wednesday for vehicles which were stranded due to heavy snowfall, officials said.

A massive snow-clearance operation was undertaken by the Border Roads Organisation (BR0) to restore the 270-km highway, which remained closed for vehicular traffic for the third consecutive day Wednesday, officials said.

"The highway was restored between Banihal area of Jammu region) and the Kashmir Valley Wednesday evening. Seventy-two vehicles stranded for the past two days at Banihal were allowed to move to Kashmir," a Traffic Police officer said.

However, snow clearance operation on the Banihal-Ramban section was underway and the BRO was working to clear landslide, they said.

Both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel - the gateway to Kashmir - was started and the snow-clearance has been done.

An avalanche that struck the Jawahar Tunnel area Tuesday, had blocked both the tubes on the Qazigund side.

The BRO, which maintains the Jawahar Tunnel stretch of the highway, pressed its men and machines to clear the road of the accumulated snow since Tuesday itself, they said.

Hundreds of vehicles, mostly trucks, are stranded at various places along the highway.

Officials said the road from Banihal, which recorded over two-and-a-half feet of snow to Jawahar tunnel, was also being cleared, while the Banihal-Ramban stretch is almost clear after agencies concerned removed minor landslides and stones which came down at different places due to incessant rains.

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