Srinagar-Jammu highway re-opened to traffic
Srinagar: Much to the respite of the stranded passengers on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was re-opened to vehicular traffic on Thursday after three days of closure.
Traffic officials said that only the state roadways buses carrying passengers would be permitted on the highway Thursday. Besides, priority would be given to vehicles stranded on the highway.
"Buses travelling from Srinagar to Jammu must cross Khannabal (Anantnag) before 10.30 am.," the official said.
The fresh snowfall over the last three days, avalanches and landslides on the highway in Banihal and Panthal area caused the road to remain closed for three days. However, in an effort to clear the stranded vehicles, the highway was opened Monday for a brief period.
About 300-km Srinagar-Jammu highway is the landlocked valley's only operational winter link with the rest of the country.
The highway is the lifeline for the valley and any extended closure of the highway results in traders resorting to hoarding and profiteering.
Heavy snowfall in January had caused a grave cooking gas crisis in Kashmir with the authorities rationing the supply and ordering the cylinders to be filled with just five kg of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead of the standard 14.2 kg.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had sought action against the oil companies for their failure to store enough LPG in the valley to last for the winter months.