The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was today reopened for traffic, restoring the surface link between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country after two days, officials said. “The highway has been restored and movement of traffic has been allowed after two days,” an official of the Traffic Department said. He, however, said only one-way traffic is being allowed to ply on the nearly 300-km highway – the only all-weather road-link connecting the valley with the rest of the country. “Keeping in view the overall condition of the road and narrow width of the highway at some places, strict one-way movement of traffic is being allowed,” the official said. He said the movement of traffic was allowed after completion of restoration work by the road maintenance agency and the stranded vehicles were allowed to ply. “After remaining closed for about two days due to landslide at Marog and shooting stones at Panthyal coupled with rain and snowfall, especially in Qazigund-Jawahar Tunnel and Banihal-Jawahar Tunnel sectors, the highway was opened for movement of traffic last night itself after completion of restoration work at Marog by the road maintenance agency.
“The vehicles stranded between Ramban and Banihal were cleared and allowed to proceed towards their respective destinations,” he said. The official advised commuters not to park their vehicles in any landslide vulnerable zone, especially from Jawahar Tunnel to Ramban and Jawahar Tunnel to Lower Munda. “The said road stretches are vulnerable/slide prone zone and therefore should be kept free from all sorts of traffic to avoid any eventuality,” he said. Meanwhile, the night temperature across Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, decreased with Pahalgam and Gulmarg registering the coldest nights of the season. The minimum temperature across Kashmir went down last night, an official of the Meteorological Department here said. He said Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – recorded a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius last night –down from the previous night’s minus 0.7 degree Celsius.
The official said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of zero degrees Celsius, while Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius. Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, the official said. Gulmarg recorded a low of 9.8 degrees Celsius, he said, adding it was the lowest night temperature this season at the resort.The resort was the coldest recorded place in the state. The official said Pahalgam – which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra – registered a minimum of minus 6.5 degrees Celsius – down by nearly nine degrees from 2.1 degrees Celsius the previous night. He said Pahalgam experienced the coldest night of this winter so far last night. The official said the mercury at Leh settled at a low of minus 8.5 degrees Celsius last night – two degrees down from the previous night. He said the nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 8 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night’s minus 5.8 degrees Celsius. The MET Office has forecast light rain or snowfall at isolated places in the state over the next 24 hours.