SRINAGAR : Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks laden with essentials, left Jammu this morning for the Kashmir valley as the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through for one-way traffic despite rain.
The highway was through for one-way traffic though there was rain in the morning, a traffic police official said.
He said all types of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks laden with essentials, left Jammu for the Kashmir valley. However, no vehicles are being allowed from the opposite direction.
The official said that only one-way traffic will continue on the highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country till further orders to avoid traffic jam.
Vehicles, including trucks stranded at several places on the highway, have also been allowed to move towards Srinagar.
However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has been working round the clock to make the road safe for two way journey.
A traffic police official said that two-way traffic on the highway will be resumed only once a green signal is received from BRO and Traffic police officials posted at different places.
Traffic on the highway, the only road linking the valley with the rest of the country, was disrupted frequently due to snowfall and landslides besides slippery road conditions since first heavy snowfall on January 6.
However, the closure of the highway has resulted in considerable increase shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables and fruits, as trucks remained stranded for the past about a week across the tunnel.
The prices of local vegetables had also witnessed increase. Kashmir valley is importing vegetables, fruits and chicken and meat from different parts of the country.
Majority meat and chicken shops remained closed in the valley because of no supply from outside due to closure of the highway.
Traders at vegetable mandi remained idle as only onion and potatoes are available. ”We were receiving hundreds of trucks loaded with fresh vegetables every day but for the past about more than a week there is hardly any, the traders said, adding that the local vegetables are also under snow forcing people to consume pulses and dry vegetables. The historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and national highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir remained closed due to heavy snowfall. Both the roads will reopen only in summer.
The Mughal road is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway.