The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was reopened to traffic on Saturday and over a thousand vehicles moved towards their destinations on the road.
According to eye-witnesses, Brigadier TPS Rawat, chief engineer of the Border Roads Organization (BRO), was personally supervising the passage of the traffic at Shaitani Nallah at 1.30 am on Saturday.
"The temperature was around minus 18 degrees Celsius at Shaitani Nallah during the night. Our boys manning snow clearance machines worked round the clock to keep the highway open," Rawat told IANS.
According to Rawat, 879 vehicles had crossed the Jawahar Tunnel at Banihal towards Jammu till late Friday evening, while more than 500 vehicles carrying essential supplies to the valley had moved through the tunnel towards Srinagar till 10 am on Saturday.
Traffic on the highway had to be halted Friday morning as a truck was stuck in frozen ice at Shaitani Nallah. Some vehicles were stalled because their fuel froze in the extreme cold in the Banihal sector of the highway.
All essential supplies to the valley are moved along the Jammu-Srinagar highway and any blockade of the 300-km long road often results shortages in the valley. Traders then indulge in black-marketing here.