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Jammu-Srinagar highway reopens for traffic after two days

Jammu, Oct 13 The strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway reopened for traffic on Sunday after remaining closed for the past two days due to a massive landslide in Ramban district, traffic department officials said.

Light motor vehicles (LMVs) were allowed to ply on the highway from both Jammu and Srinagar around 9.30 am after getting clearance from the agencies responsible for its maintenance, they said.

The 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed late on Thursday following the landslide, which was triggered during widening of the road at Nihard -- two kms from Ramban towards Jammu.

Thousands of vehicles were left stranded on either side of the highway due to the blockade.

No passenger vehicle from Jammu or Srinagar was allowed on the highway on Friday and Saturday as the focus was on clearing the stranded vehicles, mostly trucks, the officials said.

Clearing the trucks took time due to continuous landslides and shooting stones from hills overlooking the highway, they said.

"The road was cleared of debris by the concerned agencies this morning, paving the way for the resumption of normal passenger traffic," the officials said, adding that traffic on the highway would be regulated in accordance with the new schedule.

According to the new schedule, LMVs would ply on both sides, from Jammu to Srinagar and vice-versa, during the day.

Heavy motor vehicles (HMVs) and load carriers from Zig (Qazigund) will ply between 7 pm to 11 pm and from Jakheni (Udhampur) between 6 am and 11 am, the officials said.

They said no HMVs will be allowed after the cut-off timings.

The traffic department headquarters also advised commuters to avoid travelling on the highway during night hours in view of the threat of landslides.

"The public is advised to undertake journey on the highway only after confirming the status of the road from traffic control units," the officials said.

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