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Landslides close Jammu-Srinagar highway

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Banihal: Vehicular traffic on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway was suspended on Saturday after heavy rains triggered landslides at a few places in Ramban district, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded, officials said.

A Jammu-bound truck was also hit by stones rolling down a hillock overlooking the highway near Panthiyal but the driver and his helper escaped unhurt, they said.

The officials said the traffic on the highway was allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu and progressed smoothly till 3.30 pm despite incessant rains all along the highway.

However, landslides at various places, including Panthiyal, Cafeteria Morh and Digdole, forced suspension of the traffic, they said, adding that several hundred vehicles were left stranded on the highway in Ramban district and efforts are on to clear them.

“No vehicular movement shall be allowed from either side on the highway tomorrow (Sunday) in view of inclement weather/landslides at several places and continuous raining on the arterial road,” a spokesperson of the traffic department said.

He said the road clearance agencies have deployed their men and machines at the blocked spots and are making efforts to ensure early restoration of traffic on the highway.

The stranded vehicles would be allowed to move towards their destinations once the road is made traffic-worthy, the spokesperson said.

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