Press Trust of India

Daily traffic jams on Jammu-Srinagar highway challenging for commuters

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Banihal/Jammu: The daily traffic congestion on the Ramban-Banihal sector of the 270-kilometre-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway has become a major concern for thousands of commuters.

This highway otherwise known as NH 44 is the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country.

According to commuters, while a majority of the construction work that started in 2016 on the highway has been completed, some tunnels, bypasses, and flyovers are yet to be finished.

“The main causes of the traffic congestion include landslides, mudslides, stone shooting, movement of nomads, and narrow roads at various locations along the route”, an entrepreneur named Arvind Koul told PTI.

Koul, who often visits Kashmir, says that traffic jams and potholes on highways pose a danger to commuters’ lives.

In comparison to 2021 and 2022, the highway in the Ramban section is in a bad state this year. It feels like torture to travel via it these days, he said.

Authorities have recognised the need for immediate measures to control the traffic congestion in the Ramban-Banihal sector, particularly with the annual Shri Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage, starting July 1.

“It is the right time for authorities to take measures to repair patches of highways immediately ahead of Amarnath yatra and approaching monsoons. It will otherwise be in its worst condition during monsoons”, Kamal, a driver said.

The highway traffic officials cited one-way traffic restrictions at its various points, movement of nomads, and ongoing construction projects as the causes of congestion.

Hundred-foot caravans of cattle being ferried by the tribals on the highway are the biggest cause of the traffic jams, they said.

They further explained that the entire stretch in the Ramban and Banihal sector is prone to landslides, which cause disruptions on National Highway 44 with every rainfall.

Efforts are underway to complete the three km-long Banihal town bypass and one km-long Ramban town bypass by this year, they said.

These developments are expected to alleviate some of the traffic congestion issues, officials added.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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