Inside Kashmir

Day 6: Srinagar-Jammu highway still closed, trail of bailey bridge

Srinagar: Traffic on the national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, is likely to resume on Sunday after remaining suspended for six consecutive days, official sources said on Saturday.

However, resumption of traffic on the highway will depend upon the trail of bailey bridge which has been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) after National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) informed that repairing of the original bridge will take about two weeks, sources told UNI.

Traffic on the highway was suspended on Sunday evening after a retaining wall of main concrete bridge collapsed at Kela Morh, Ramban. The NHAI, responsible for the maintenance of the highway, said that there was no alternative way to allow traffic at Kela Morh, affecting vehicular movement on the highway.

Sources said there are more than 4000 Kashmir-bound vehicles, mostly trucks loaded with essentials and oil tankers, stranded on other side of the Kela Morh. Similarly, about 5000 Jammu-bound vehicles, truck and empty oil tankers, are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel.

The BRO constructed bailey bridge and trail will be conducted this afternoon, they said, adding that traffic will be allowed provided trail is successful. However, only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations before allowing fresh traffic, they said.

Meanwhile, they said the NHAI is working war footing to reconstruct the damaged retaining wall of the main bridge.

The Mughal road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway also remained closed since December last year due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. The road connects Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.

The road connecting Anantnag in south Kasshmir with Kishtwar in Jammu region also remained closed due to snowfall.

The Srinagar-Leh national highway has also been declared closed for winter months by the authorities from January Ist, 2021.

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