Landslides cause closure of Jammu-Srinagar highway

Jammu  :  The 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only lifeline to Kashmir Valley, closed again Friday as landslides caused by heavy rain and snow sent large boulders shooting down.

“Hundreds of load carriers and passenger vehicles got stranded because of the landslide. The blockade was caused by rolling boulders,” said Shakeel Ahmad Beigh, deputy inspector general (DIG) Traffic Police-Jammu.

“We are trying our best to co-ordinate with the Border Roads Organisation to clear the road, but heavy rains and snow are hampering clearance work,” Beigh said.

The 100-km stretch between Patnitop and Banihal is blocked with sand and stones dislodged by snow and rain at over a dozen places.

“Also, there is heavy snow on both sides of Jawahar Tunnel, which will take some time to be cleared. And work on clearing it can continue apace only once it stops snowing,” Beigh said.

Bad weather conditions have snapped telecommunication links, and electricity supply in Jammu region has been disrupted too.

The meteorological department in Jammu has forecast rains and snow for another 24 hours “due to western disturbances”.