Landslide gridlocks Jammu Srinagar highway

THOUSANDS of people were stranded as landslides triggered by snowfall and heavy rains closed the Jammu-Srinagar national highway at various places between Patnitop and Jawahar tunnel during wee hours of this morning.

Sources said that the road had become slippery in view of continuous snowfall at Patnitop and on both ends of Jawahar tunnel, rains had triggered landslides between Panthial and Nachlana. While nearly 300 vehicles including trucks were stranded between Batote and Jawahar tunnel, nearly 1,500 vehicles were waiting for green signal from Traffic Police officials to their onward journey to Valley from Nagrota and Udhampur side and from Qazigund side towards Jammu.

According to Deputy Inspector General of Police, National Highway, Shakeel Beigh, the road at Patnitop was cleared of snow for one way movement of vehicular traffic from Jammu side to Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar side. Pointing out that it was still raining and snowing at various places along the national highway, he said that if weather permitted, there will upward movement of vehicles from Jammu to Valley tomorrow.

However, the vehicles will have to cross Udhampur by 10 am and Banihal latest by 4 pm so that they do not get stranded on the road in case of snowfall or rains during late at night, he said.

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