Banihal/Jammu: The one-way traffic resumed on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Wednesday after remaining suspended for about 38-hours following a landslide in Ramban district, officials said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic (national highway), Banihal, Asghar Malik said the road clearance operation at the landslide-hit Sher Bibi near Banihal was still going on.
Hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on the highway after a massive landslide blocked the arterial road at Sher Bibi around 2 am Tuesday. The road clearance operation was hampered by continuous shooting of stones from the hillock throughout the day.
“Despite intermittent shooting of stones, the road clearance agencies worked hard since this morning to ensure that the road is opened for one-way traffic which was allowed at around 4 pm (Wednesday),” Malik said.
No fresh traffic was allowed either from Srinagar or Jammu for the second day in the morning as authorities focused on road clearance operation and to clear the stranded vehicles on priority, a traffic department official said.
He said some more time is needed to make the road two-way at the landslide hit stretch.
Meanwhile, J-K Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta asked for a possibility of taking a “traffic holiday” for a day every week on the highway till March 15 so that it is better utilised for making some crucial repairs and completing a few essential works for making travel on the road a pleasant experience for the commuters.
Reviewing the traffic scenario on the highway at a meeting with traffic authorities here, Mehta made it amply clear that in no case should travel time between the two capital cities exceed beyond seven hours on any day for light motor vehicles.
The chief secretary enjoined upon the traffic authorities to enhance their personnel on all the damaged portions of the road for better traffic management.
He impressed upon them to show zero tolerance towards road side parking hindering traffic flow, directing for having stringent regulations in place to deal with all the violators.
Taking stock of the ongoing construction works, Mehta called for all out efforts to open the T5 tunnel on Panthiyal stretch of the highway by March 15, Jaiswal Bridge by March 31 and double-lane of Ramban Flyover and Banihal Bye-pass by April 15.
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