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Sgr-Jmu highway remains closed for 3rd day

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Srinagar, Feb 02: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the third consecutive day on Saturday due to fresh landslides in the Banihal-Ramban area, an official said.

Debris clearance operation of earlier landslides were still going on, when the fresh landslide hit the road this morning.

“Fresh landslides occurred overnight at several places including Anokhi fall, Digdole and Panthiyal. Road clearance operation is going on in full swing to ensure early restoration of traffic on the highway,” they added.

No traffic will be allowed on the highway till it is absolutely safe, the Traffic department has said.

Meanwhile, over 100 stranded tankers carrying petroleum products for Kashmir crossed the Jawahar Tunnel late on Friday, Alok Kumar, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Traffic, told reporters.

Nearly 3,000 vehicles, mostly trucks, have been parked at safer places in Qazigund-Banihal stretch of the highway.

Official also said with improvement in weather conditions, the authorities have stepped up efforts to restore the strategically important highway.

The 270-km highway was closed for traffic on Thursday following heavy snowfall and rains which triggered multiple landslides blocking the road at various places on the Banihal-Ramban stretch, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded.

The official said the snow clearance operation at Jawahar Tunnel, the gateway to Kashmir, was completed late Friday evening, following which over 100 stranded Kashmir-bound tankers carrying petroleum products were allowed to proceed towards their destination.

“The blockade due to landslides at various places including Nachlana, Gangroo, Seri and Battery Cheshma were also cleared, while efforts are on to clear the blockade at other paces,” the official said, “the road is likely to be made ready for traffic by late afternoon.”

However, he said only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their destinations after the completion of the ongoing clearance operation.

Closure of the highway has resulted in shortages of essential supplies in the landlocked Valley. Unscrupulous traders are using it to sell commodities at exorbitant prices.

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