Hundreds left stranded on Jammu-Srinagar highway due to ban on civilian traffic, massive landslide
jkupdate.com | 07-Apr-2019 08:03 AM
  • A massive landslide led to the lockdown of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Saturday as the officials confirmed to the suspension of traffic.

JAMMU: A massive landslide led to the lockdown of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Saturday as the officials confirmed to the suspension of traffic. According to officials, a huge landslide occurred at Anokhi Fall in the afternoon, blocking the nearly 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country. 

The road-clearance efforts of the concerned agencies were hampered even as intermittent shooting of stones continued from the hillock overlooking the highway near the scene of the landslide. 

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

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

Earlier on Friday, a top official had said civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway was barred by the state government for two days in a week, which will not apply to bonafide and emergency movement of civilians. 

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

After public outrage on the government decision to disallow civilian and public transport on the highway on Sundays and Wednesdays to secure movement of convoys of security forces, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Basheer Ahmad Khan said there was no blanket ban.

"The ban would not apply to children going to schools or to those who have business establishments around the national highway or to those who have agricultural and horticultural land around the national highway or in medical emergencies," he said.

"We have issued elaborate instructions to all district development commissioners who shall ensure that the general public is not put to any inconvenience during days reserved for passage of security forces on the highway," Khan said.

The ban followed the February 14 suicide bombing on the highway that killed 40 CRPF troopers in Pulwama. 

Commenting on the civilian woes due to the lockdown, the officials said, "Hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on the highway at various places due to the closure of the road. 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 security 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.(Courtesy:India TV)

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