Snow envelopes J-K, strands over 3000 vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar highway
Traffic on the 270-km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained suspended for the second straight day on Monday due to heavy snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel and in Banihal of Ramban district.
Though the road was cleared of landslides at Magerkot, Battery Chashma, Mom Passi, Marog and Panthial in Ramban distict, heavy accumulation of snow on the north portal of Jawahar Tunnel in Lower Munda has been hampering vehicular movement.
Hundreds of trucks from avalanche prone area in Lower Munda were cleared and allowed to pass through the Jawahar tunnel towards Banihal.
Traffic Police have pressed into service their mobile teams making announcements on loudspeakers telling the people that no vehicle will be allowed to Srinagar because of landslides and snowfall in Ramban and rains in Udhampur area.
“Around 2,500 vehicles including trucks have been stranded between Udhampur and Ramban since Saturday evening,” said a traffic police officer.
Similarly, 170 Srinagar-bound light motor vehicles (LMVs) and 150 heavy vehicles besides 20 Jammu-bound LMVs were stranded between Ramsu and Jawahar Tunnel.
Around 80 Srinagar-bound LMVs have been stranded in Ramban and 50 HMVs in Chanderkot while 190 Srinagar- bound tankers have been stranded in Batote area.
The Mughal Road, an alternate road that connects the Kashmir valley to Jammu region through Shopian-Rajouri axis, also remains closed in the winter due to heavy snowfall.
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has pressed into service their men and machineries to clear snow and debris from the affected stretches of the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
Meanwhile, the Met office has forecast widespread moderate to heavy snowfall with isolated very heavy snowfall from Monday evening to January 6 forenoon with peak activity during Monday night to Tuesday afternoon in both Jammu and Kashmir regions.
The weather is predicted to improve significantly from January 6 onwards.