Landslides disrupt traffic on Ladakh-Kashmir NH


Srinagar :  Traffic on the national highway, connecting Ladakh region with the Kashmir valley, was disrupted for about two hours this morning due to landslides, triggered by overnight rain. Despite rain the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and historic Mughal road are open for both way traffic though vehicles are allowed to ply during the day only. There were landslides, triggered by heavy rain, at Zojila pass on Srinagar-Drass-Kargil Leh highway early this morning, official sources told UNI. However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) , responsible for the maintenance of the highway immediately pressed into service sophisticated machines and men and put through traffic, they said. Only one-way traffic is allowed at Zojila to avoid jams and accidents, they said, adding that traffic is allowed from Drass at 0600 hrs till 1100 hrs. Later, traffic from Sonmarg in the central Kashmir is allowed from 1100 hrs towards different areas of Ladakh region. Due to landslides today, vehicles, including those carrying passengers and empty trucks and oil tankers from Drass, Ladakh, were allowed towards Kashmir from 0800 hrs, they said.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through for day traffic only as authorities are closing the Jawahar tunnel for night at 1800 hrs. For the past several years, night traffic was allowed to ply on the highway to avoid heavy rush during the day. However, after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants in an encounter on July 8 in south Kashmir, evoking massive protests, traffic, including Amarnath yatra, on the highway was suspended for several days before it was decided to allow only night traffic to avoid day protests, particularly on this side of the tunnel.

Later when both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference (HC) and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), spearheading the present agitation against killing of 70 civilians in security force firing since July 9, urged people to resume normal activities from 1800 hrs or 2200 hrs till 0600 hrs next morning and observe strike during the day, authorities banned night travel. Oil tankers and trucks, carrying essentials were also plying normally during night. However, during the day, they were being attacked by the demonstrators on the highway in Kashmir because of strike called by separatists. The tankers today stopped oil supply to Kashmir from Jammu demanding proper security for plying in the Valley during the day. Similarly, only day traffic is also allowed on historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.

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