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Massive landslide blocks Srinagar-Jammu highway

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Banihal/Srinagar, Apr 06: Traffic on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended Saturday after a massive landslide blocked the arterial road in Ramban district, officials said.

A huge landslide occurred at Anokhi Fall in the afternoon, blocking the nearly 270-km highway, the officials said.

They said intermittent shooting of stones from the hillock overlooking the highway near the scene of the landslide was going on, hampering the efforts of the agencies concerned in road-clearance operation to ensure early restoration of the highway.

The Ramban-Banihal stretch of the highway also witnessed light rains in the evening, the officials said, adding that efforts are on to restore traffic on the highway as early as possible.

Traffic on the highway is restricted to one-way and plies alternatively from the twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu.

“Hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on the highway at various places due to the closure of the road,” the officials said, adding the traffic was allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu in the morning while no vehicle was allowed from Jammu to Srinagar.

Meanwhile, District Magistrate, Ramban, Showkat Aijaz Bhat said the civil vehicular traffic on the highway in the jurisdiction of the district from Batote-Nashri to Jawahar Tunnel — the gateway to Kashmir, would be restricted for safe convoy movement of government forces on Sunday for 13 hours between 4 am and 5 pm.

“In case of medical or any other emergency, people are requested to contact concerned magistrate and police station for any help,” an order issued by the district magistrate said.

On Wednesday, the Governor administration issued an order that no civilian traffic will be allowed to move from Baramulla in northern Kashmir to Udhampur in Jammu region on Sundays and Wednesdays till May 31 to facilitate smooth movement of security convoys.

The NC, PDP, Congress, CPI(M) and other political parties have strongly criticised the order and asked the administration for a review saying that the move will cause hardships to the people.

The traffic restriction was imposed apparently to facilitate unhindered movement of government forces’ convoys to eliminate the possibility of Pulwama-like fidayeen attacks.

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