Ramban, Feb 1: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed due to snowfall in the Banihal-Qazigund section, and due to heavy rain and shooting stones that resulted in caved-in portions of road stretch in the Sherbibi area between Ramban and Banihal early Thursday morning.
Due to the blockade of the stretch in Sherbibi, hundreds of vehicles, especially load carriers were stranded at various locations between Srinagar and Jammu.
Officials said that the highway was closed due to snowfall in the Banihal-Qazigund sector and heavy rain between Udhampur and Banihal that caused intermittent triggering of shooting stones and accumulation of slush at several places.
They said that the caving-in of a portion of a road stretch at Kishtwari Pattar, Sherbibi between Ramban and Banihal also led to the closure of the highway.
The officials said that no fresh traffic was allowed from Srinagar and Jammu due to the closure of the highway that passes through the Ramban district.
Due to the closure of the road, the vehicles were stopped at various locations between Udhampur and Qazigund.
Traffic officials in Ramban said that a portion of the road was damaged in the Sherbibi area of Banihal and road restoration work was started amid rain and snowfall in the area.
They said that efforts were being made by excavating hillocks alongside the damaged portion of the road and by filing muck and debris in the caved-in portion of the road at Sherbibi to make it traffic-worthy at the earliest.
However, they said that continuous rain and snow in the area were hampering the road restoration work at Sherbibi.
The old alignment of the highway passing through Chenani-Kud-Patnitop is also closed due to snowfall in the area.
Some oil and LPG tankers are stranded on this route as the entire Kashmir-bound oil and LPG tankers pass through this route
Officials late Thursday evening said that the highway was closed for any type of vehicular movement.
The traffic authorities advised the commuters not to undertake journeys on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway till the road restoration was completed and the weather
Senior Superintendent of Traffic Police National Highway, Ramban, Rohit Baskotra late Thursday evening told Greater Kashmir that the highway was closed for every type
of traffic at Sherbibi and other places.