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States » North


Fresh avalanches delay reopening of highway to Ladakh region

Srinagar, Apr 26 (UNI) Fresh snow avalanches at over 10 places has delayed reopening of national highway, the only road linking Ladakh region with Kashmir though snow clearance operation has been completed, a senior traffic police official said on Friday.
The Beacon authorities have completed snow clearance operation on the highway, which was closed in November last year due to accumulation of eight to ten feet of snow, particularly between Sonamarg-Zojila and Meenmarg, Superintendent of Police (SP) Rural Muzaffar Ahmad Shah said.
He said, "There were about ten to 12 fresh snow avalanches at different locations on the highway which are being cleared." "Majority of them have been cleared," he said adding traffic will be restored on the highway only when there is no threat of avalanches.
Mr Shah said once a message is received that there is no threat of snow avalanches, a proper notification will be issued by the Divisional Administration to allow vehicular traffic on the highway.
We expect that if there is no fresh avalanche or weather disturbances, the highway will be put through within next two to three days, he added.
About rumours that there will be ban on civilian traffic movement on Srinagar-Leh national highway twice in a week, similar to ban on Srinagar-Jammu highway, he said no such order has been received or issued. The authorities have banned civilian traffic on national highway, the connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country twice in a week on Sunday and Wednesday to allow free and secure movement of security force vehicles. Ban was imposed after 44 CRPF personnel were killed in a fidayeen attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) on February 14 at Awantipora on Srinagar-Jammu highway. However, ban evoked sharp reaction from national and separatist leaders besides traders, fruit growers and common people, alleging that it badly affects normal life in the valley.
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