Srinagar-Jammu highway opened to one-way traffic

January 9th, 2012 - 2:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Jan 9 (IANS) The Srinagar-Jammu highway, struck by a massive avalanche, was Monday opened to one-way traffic, allowing supplies to reach the snowed-in Kashmir Valley from the state’s winter capital Jammu.

Border Roads Organisation’s chief engineer Brigadier T.P.S. Rawat, who is supervising the road opening operations, said: “Traffic will move on the road from Jammu to Srinagar. No vehicles will be allowed to travel in the opposite direction.”

He said all the stranded vehicles on the highway were allowed to move towards Srinagar Monday morning. “Stranded vehicles carrying passengers and essential supplies to the valley have been allowed to move on priority basis on the highway,” Rawat told IANS.

“I have been personally supervising the road clearance operations from Patnitop to Banihal tunnel. Our boys had a tough time cutting through the 15-foot-high avalanche that struck the road yesterday (Sunday) at Panthal,” he said.

“Tonnes of snow was removed from the road by snow clearing machines despite the bone-chilling cold and strong winds in the Banihal sector of the road,” he said.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is the lifeline of Kashmir Valley, as all essential supplies are moved along it, and continued blockade of this crucial road often results in unscrupulous traders resorting to profiteering and black-marketing.

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