Jammu-Srinagar highway re-opens for one-way traffic

Srinagar, Jan 18 (IANS) The over 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway was thrown open for one-way traffic towards Srinagar even as the Kashmir Valley received fresh snowfall Wednesday evening, the second time in the past four days. Supplies are on way to the summer capital.

A senior officer of the Border Roads Organisation, which manages the highway, told IANS the road was re-opened for one-way traffic Wednesday evening despite fresh snowfall in the Jawahar Tunnel area of Banihal.
“Our men and machinery worked round-the-clock clearing the accumulated snow and landslides at the various points on the highway,” BRO chief engineer Brig. T.P.S.Rawat said.
He said over 1,000 vehicles carrying essential supplies were on way to the valley.
“Till late this (Wednesday) evening, 300 vehicles crossed the tunnel while the others will cross anytime into the valley,” Rawat said.
He said all the vehicles stranded on the highway had been cleared Tuesday and they have reached Srinagar.
“We also allowed 150 stranded vehicles, on their way to Jammu, to cross the tunnel.”
The Kashmir Valley has been facing acute shortages of cooking gas cylinders, vegetables and other essential items and the re-opening of the road will ease the woes of the people, though authorities said trucks carrying cooking gas cylinders had started arriving here.
“As many as 120 trucks carrying cooking gas cylinders are arriving today (Wednesday). There is no shortage of kerosene oil and we are ensuring its steady supply,” Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister Qamar Ali Akhoon said earlier Wednesday.

But people continued to complain of an acute shortage of cooking gas, kerosene and even sugar.
Defence authorities have been providing safe drinking water to the people in north Kashmir areas where the supplies have been hit by the snowfall.