Jammu & Kashmir

Bailey bridge being constructed to restore traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway

Srinagar, Jan 13: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is constructing a bailey bridge to restore traffic on Srinagar-Jammu national highway which is closed for the third successive day on Wednesday after retaining wall of a bridge in Ramban collapsed on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road and Anantnag-Kishtwar roads remained shut since last week of December, 2020 due to accumulation of snow while the national highway, the only road linking Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir has been closed for winter months.

A traffic police official told UNI this morning that Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed on Wednesday due to sudden damage of a bridge at Kela Morh  in Ramban on Sunday evening.

He said the National High Authority of India (NHAI) has informed  that repairing  by concrete filling and settling of concrete for making it motorable may take approximately ten days. He said in the interim, to restore connectivity a bailey bridge is being launched by BRO.

However, traffic official said that vehicles can ply between Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar, Jammu-Ramban, Magarkote-Banihal and Banihal- Qazigund stretches on the highway.

Meanwhile, official sources said over 5000 vehicles, including those carrying essentials, and oil tankers got stranded on the highway after the bridge was damaged. Several thousand empty trucks, oil and gas tankers are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel.

Almost all political parties have expressed concern over the frequent closure of the highway. They were concerned over the plight of the people, particularly truckers, stranded on the highway without being provided any facility.

However, the  Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, K  K Sidha on Tuesday visited highway to look into the problems being faced by the stranded Truck Drivers with regard to availability of essential commodities and drinking water.

The DC, along with other officers, distributed 2000 kits of eatable items including Rice, Sugar, Mustard oil, spices, pulses, tea, Milk packets and biscuits among stranded truck drivers at Zig, Lower monda, Vessu and Alstop Mir Bazar.

The DC directed Public Health Engineering (PHE) Qazigund to ensure supply of drinking water to the truck drivers through tanker service.

 Meanwhile, people alleged that the prices of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables have increased after the highway was closed.

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 1.

 

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