The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, was on Monday thrown open for traffic, three days after heavy snowfall had led to its closure.
“The national highway has been thrown open for traffic after the road was cleared-off snow and debris left behind by landslides at few places,” an official of the Traffic Department said.
He said while vehicles stranded due to the closure of road were allowed to proceed towards Srinagar on Sunday, fresh traffic was allowed to ply this morning.
“Traffic was allowed to ply on both ways on the highway,” the official said.
Life was thrown out of gear in Kashmir Valley on Friday due to heavy snowfall which continued at some places till Sunday as well.
The season’s heaviest snowfall had affected air-traffic at Srinagar airport here as well leading to suspension of flight operations for two days. The air traffic resumed on Sunday.
The snowfall along with rains led to landslides at few places along the highway which forced its closure.The snow and the debris were cleared-off on Sunday following improvement in the weather.
According to a traffic department official, heavy vehicles will be allowed to move on the highway on Monday.
“Heavy vehicles will be allowed to move from Jammu to Srinagar, but not from Srinagar to Jammu,” the official said. “However, light vehicles will be allowed to move from both sides on the highway,” he added.
Light vehicular movement was restored on the highway on Sunday evening after it remained close for three days.
Rail service between the valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region resumed on Sunday morning. Meanwhile, the Met department has forecast cold and dry weather in Jammu and Kashmir till Tuesday.
“Despite improvement in the weather, the cold wave condition is likely to continue because of chilly wind blowing from snow clad mountains surrounding the valley,” a Met official said. “The minimum temperature was minus 2.3 degrees Celsius in Srinagar on Monday while the maximum was 3 degree on Sunday.”
“The shortening of the difference between the minimum and the maximum temperatures indicate intense cold in the valley.
“In Pahalgam, the minimum temperature was minus 9.2 degrees Celsius while it was minus 12.4 degrees Celsius in Gulmarg,” the official said.