Snowfall leaves more than 500 vehicles stranded on Jammu-Srinagar highway
More than 500 vehicles are stranded on the 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway as the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the country was closed due to heavy snowfall and slippery conditions.
There are reports of fresh snowfall at the tourist resort of Patnitop, and Jawahar Tunnel at Banihal on the National Highway. Both these places experienced snowfall late on Saturday evening as well.
The highway closed late last night, though traffic police was clearing the stranded vehicles.
From Patnitop, SSP National Highway Haseeb Mugal informed: "Due to snowing and slippery conditions, around 150 Kashmir and Kishtwar bound vehicles are stranded at Kud, and around same number of Jammu bound vehicles are stranded at Batote", he said, adding that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was working to clear the highway.
"Right now it is snowing in Patnitop and there are reports of snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel (which links Kashmir to the rest of the country). More than one feet of snow has already accumulated in Patnitop area", he said, adding, "I request the passengers to avoid the national highway for the next couple of days", he added.
On being asked whether the highway would be opened for normal vehicular traffic on Monday, the SSP said, "I do not think it will be possible, though final decision would be taken in the evening. Right now, our main priority is to clear all the stranded vehicles by Monday."
Meanwhile, as per reports from traffic police, there is a huge pile up of vehicles on the surrounding areas of Jammu on the National Highway.
"Around 100 vehicles are stranded at Mansar, around 50 at Nagrota(starting point of the highway), 20 vehicles at Sidhra and around 30 vehicles at Udhampur", he said.
There also reports of stranded vehicles on both sides of Jawahar Tunnel.
Reports from Bhaderwah, Rajouri, Poonch, Reasi, Doda and Kishtwar districts said that fresh snowfall was recorded in upper reaches of these places, and light showers were reported in Jammu and nearby plains on Saturday night.
The meteorological department has predicted light snowfall in few places across the state for the next 24 hours.
"In the afternoon, there was fresh snowfall at Qazigund in Kashmir and at Banihal and Patnitop area in Jammu", he added.