The 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway was cleared for stranded vehicles on Saturday after remaining closed for the past four days due to multiple landslides triggered by incessant rains at a dozen places in Ramban district, officials said.
The highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed for vehicular traffic on Tuesday morning after a massive landslide damaged a portion of the road at Dalwas, leaving thousands of vehicles, mostly trucks, stranded on the either side.
Multiple landslides and shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway at over a dozen places between Nashri and Banihal sector hampered the restoration work by the road clearance agencies, which worked round-the-clock despite the inclement weather.
“The highway was cleared of the accumulated debris at various places, especially Dalwas, Panthiyal and Cafeteria Morh which posed a major challenge and was reopened for traffic this morning, Deputy Superintendent of Police Traffic, National Highway, Ajay Anand told PTI.
He said the clearance operation was intensified after significant improvement in the weather on Friday.
“Thousands of vehicles, which remained stranded at various places over the past four days, were allowed to move towards their destination after the reopening of the highway. No fresh traffic was allowed either from Srinagar or Jammu today (Saturday), the officer said.
After clearance of the stranded vehicles, he said a decision to allow normal traffic on the highway would be taken later in the day.