Jammu: The strategic Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was opened for one-way traffic on Tuesday as improved weather and receding water level in major rivers lessened the danger of damage by floods in the state.
"Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has been opened for one-way traffic today," a senior police officer told IANS in Jammu on Tuesday.
"However, only light vehicles will be allowed to move on the highway from Jammu to Srinagar."
More than 2,000 valley bound passengers have been stranded in Jammu city for the last three days because of the highway closure.
Authorities said on Monday if the highway could not be restored on Tuesday, the Indian Air Force would be approached for arranging special sorties to airlift people stranded between Srinagar and Jammu.
Landslides triggered by incessant rainfall had blocked the Jammu-Srinagar road the past three days.
So far, 18 people have been killed by floods in Jammu and Kashmir in the last three days.
Sixteen members of two families were buried alive as landslide swept their homes in Laden village of Badgam district on Monday, 40 km from Srinagar city.
Bodies of six people, including four women, a man and an infant, have been so far recovered from the debris and efforts are on to recover other bodies believed to be buried under it.
Two youths were washed away in swollen mountain streams in Udhampur district of Jammu region on Monday.
More than 800 people from various areas have so far been rescued and shifted to safer places by the army and the civil administration in the state.
There has been some improvement in weather since Monday evening and water level in the major rivers and mountain streams of the state has come down.
"Water level in the Jhelum river was 16.45 feet at Sangam (Anantnag), 18.30 feet at Ram Munshibagh (Srinagar) and 12.75 feet at Asham (Bandipora) at 8 a.m. today," a senior official of the flood control department told IANS in Srinagar.
The official said although the Jhelum river is still flowing near the danger mark, the flood threat has considerably abetted because of improvement in weather.