Jmu-Sgr highway reopened for stranded vehicles only
No fresh traffic will be allowed today
Banihal/Jammu: The Jammu Srinagar National Highway was reopened Wednesday for vehicles which were stranded due to heavy snowfall, officials said.
A massive snow-clearance operation was undertaken by the Border Roads Organisation (BR0) to restore the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which remained closed for vehicular traffic for the third consecutive day Wednesday, officials said.
“The highway was restored between Banihal area of Jammu region) and the Kashmir Valley Wednesday evening. Seventy-two vehicles stranded for the past two days at Banihal were allowed to move to Kashmir,” a Traffic Police officer said.
However, snow clearance operation on the Banihal-Ramban section was underway and the BRO was working to clear landslide, they said.
Both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to Kashmir – was started and the snow-clearance has been done.
An avalanche that struck the Jawahar Tunnel area Tuesday, had blocked both the tubes on the Qazigund side.
The BRO, which maintains the Jawahar Tunnel stretch of the highway, pressed its men and machines to clear the road of the accumulated snow since Tuesday itself, they said.
Hundreds of vehicles, mostly trucks, are stranded at various places along the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, officials said.
They said the road from Banihal, which recorded over two-and-a-half feet of snow to Jawahar tunnel, was also being cleared, while the Banihal-Ramban stretch is almost clear after agencies concerned removed minor landslides and stones which came down at different places due to incessant rains.
Meanwhile, Jammu woke up to a sunny morning, providing relief to the denizens of the city who were reeling under intense cold after the mercury nose-dived due to inclement weather over the past four days.
The day temperature is expected to rise after plummeting to 10.4 degrees Celsius yesterday 8.4 degrees below normal during this part of the season, a spokesman of the MET department said.
The night temperature also marked a slight dip and settled at 8.3 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 8.7 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said adding the night temperature continues to remain over one degree above normal owing to cloud cover.
He said Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine, recorded a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius, while the snow-bound areas of highway including Banihal and Batote townships along with Badherwah in Doda district were reeling under sub-zero temperature.
Batote was the coldest recorded place in Jammu division with a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, while Banihal and Bhaderwah recorded a minimum of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius. (PTI)