|Early Times Report|
SRINAGAR, Dec 15: The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh National Highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir, remained closed for the sixth day on Saturday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions, a traffic police official said here this morning.
Traffic remained suspended on the highway following snowfall due to which the road has become slippery, a traffic official said.
A large number of Kashmir vehicles, including empty trucks and oil tankers besides carrying passengers, are stranded at Drass, Kargil and other places on other side of the Zojila pass. Similarly, some vehicles are also stopped on this side of the pass in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal.
There is very less chance of resumption of traffic on the highway following accumulation of snow due to below freezing temperature, making snow clearance operation difficult, official sources said, adding that there is also threat of avalanches.
Only one-way traffic was being allowed on the highway for the past several week after first heavy snowfall when the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, announced closure of the highway. However, after protests by stranded passengers and residents of Kargil and Drass, one-way traffic was again allowed on the highway. People in Kargil alleged that adequate essential commodities have not been stocked.
However, authorities claimed that essentials commodities, including rice, atta, sugar, petrol, diesel, LPG cylinders and medicine have been stocked in different areas of Kargil and Leh districts which remained cut off for six winter months due to heavy snowfall.
Large number of Kashmir-bound vehicles, including empty trucks and oil tankers besides carrying passengers, are stranded at Drass, Kargil and Meenmarg. Similarly, Ladakh-bounds trucks, carrying essentials and oil tankers have been stopped at Sonamarg in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal.
The Beacon authorities will start snow clearance operation only when weather improves and there is no threat of avalanches, official sources said, adding that the highway will be declared closed for winter if there is no improvement. The Ladakh region remained cut off during six winter months due to heavy snowfall and snow avalanches. The Government of India (GoI) and state government have already announced to construct a tunnel at Zojila to make it an all weather road.