Jammu: The 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continued to remain closed for traffic for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday due to landslides triggered by heavy rains, leaving over 700 Kashmir-bound trucks and light passenger vehicles stranded. Authorities have not allowed any fresh movement of traffic from Jammu to Srinagar or from the other side, a senior traffic police officer said.
"Road has been washed away at several places due to massive landslides triggered by continuous rainfall in the state. A large stretch of road has been washed away at several places," the officer said.
There have been fresh landslides at three different places in Ramban district, he said. The highway was closed on April 1 due to landslides triggered by heavy rains at different places, he said. The men and machines of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are working to clear the highway of landslides and make it motorable, he said.
"We have been working round the clock to throw the road open, but the continuous rainfall has been hampering the restoration work. Now that there has been some improvement in the weather conditions today, we expect to throw the road open by this evening," he said.
He said that the efforts were on to first clear the stranded vehicles. "We are trying our best to clear the stranded vehicles first. After that, we will decide whether to allow the fresh movement of vehicles on the highway," the official said. About 700-800 trucks and light passenger vehicles are stranded at various places at Jammu, Udhampur, Banihal, Ramban, Batote and Patnitop areas of the highway.
As a result of closure of the highway, more than 600 Kashmir-bound passengers are stranded at the Jammu bus stand for the past four days and are demanding that they be airlifted to Kashmir. They have also held protests against the government and demanded that they be provided boarding and lodging facilities.