The Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the third day on Saturday as heavy rains hampered the operation to clear the debris brought on the arterial road by a massive landslide in Ramban district, officials said. The closure of the highway left thousands of vehicles, including trucks carrying essential commodities to Kashmir, stranded, traffic department officials said.
A massive landslide struck the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, at Digdole around 9 pm on Thursday, forcing closure of the road.
Road clearance operation was launched immediately but intermittent rains disrupted the work, especially since Friday night, the officials said, adding shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway were also reported from several places, including Maroog, this morning.
The road is likely to be cleared of debris by this evening. Over 1,500 trucks and 600 light motor vehicles are stranded on both sides of the blocked road in Ramban belt, they said.
The Mughal road, which connects the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with Shopian district in south Kashmir, continued to remain closed for the 11th consecutive day on Saturday.
The road, which usually remains closed during the winter months, was closed on November 6 after high altitude areas including Pir Ki Gali experienced first major snowfall of the season.
Pir Ki Gali and adjoining areas along the Mughal Road witnessed snowfall over the past couple of days, officials said, adding a decision to reopen the road will be taken once the weather improves.
The local meteorological department has predicted dry weather in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir for the next two days.