Fresh snowfall forces closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway

Srinagar, Feb 7: Fresh snowfall on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway Friday forced authorities to close the highway for vehicular traffic.

A senior traffic department official said fresh snowfall occurred in Banihal and Patnitop sectors of the over 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway during the night.

“Two feet deep snow had accumulated on the road near the Jawahar Tunnel and it was still snowing there in the morning.

“All sorts of vehicular traffic have been suspended for the safety of the passengers. Road clearance operation would be started immediately after the snowfall stops,” the official said.

The official said that those who intend to travel are “advised not to undertake the journey before contacting our control rooms in Srinagar and Jammu”.

The operation of the Baramulla-Banihal train service was also suspended.

Railway officials said the train service would be resumed after the track clearance Friday.

All supplies of essential goods including foodstuff, medicines, cooking gas, kerosene, petrol and diesel are brought into the landlocked Valley through the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Any temporary closure of this highway comes handy for unscrupulous traders who start dictating prices to the consumers as soon as the news of the highway’s closure spreads in here.

The Met Office has forecast fair weather in the Valley from Saturday.

“The present wet weather conditions will start improving from today (Friday) and from tomorrow onwards the weather would remain dry,” said Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Department.

IANS