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Sgr-Jmu highway remains shut on 6th day

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Jammu, Jan 26: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed on Saturday for the 6th consecutive day stranding scores of Kashmir-bound passengers here.

The highway was closed on Monday following heavy snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel area – the gateway to Kashmir - and multiple landslides triggered by the incessant rains between Banihal to Ramban over the past week.

"The road clearance operation was going on in full swing and it was expected that the road will be made traffic worthy by Saturday evening. However, heavy snowfall started around noon and was going on, hampering the efforts," a Traffic department official said.

He said about three inches of fresh snowfall had accumulated on the ground at Jawahar Tunnel while its peripheral areas experienced over one feet of snow.

Snow coupled with rains also lashed Banihal-Raman stretch of the highway, forcing suspension of the road clearance operation at the areas hit by landslides, including Anokhi Fall and Maroog, he said, adding shooting of stones form the hillocks overlooking the highway was also going on at certain places.

He said the road clearance operation would be restarted once the weather improves.

Meanwhile, the stranded passengers staged protest demonstrations at Udhampur and Jammu bus stand demanding their airlifting to Srinagar.

"There are no arrangements from the government for our stay and we are also running short of money. Like yesteryears, the governor administration should intervene and make arrangements for our airlifting," a resident of Baramulla district of north Kashmir, said.

Over 2,000 trucks, most of them carrying essentials to the Kashmir Valley have also been stranded at various places on the highway.

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