Permanent restoration expected ‘by March’

Srinagar: Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with the outside world, has reopened for traffic after remaining closed for six days.

The thoroughfare was closed at 6:20 pm on January 10 after the retaining wall of a key bridge collapsed suddenly near Kela Morh in Ramban.

The decision to reopen the highway comes after Border Roads Organization launched a Bailey bridge adjacent to the damaged within “60 hours”.

“After installation of bailey bridge near Kela Morh, Ramban, tomorrow (Sunday) subject to fair weather and better road condition only one-way traffic shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu including Banihal, Ramban (local traffic) on Jammu-Srinagar highway,” the authorities said, adding, “No vehicle shall be allowed in the opposite direction.”

The authorities underlined that the weight-bearing capacity of the Bailey bridge is less than 40 metric ton. “TCU Srinagar shall liaise with TCU Ramban before releasing the traffic,” they said.

The authorities said that only stranded vehicles followed by Srinagar bound vehicles carrying essential commodities were allowed in the evening.

Meanwhile, they said, permanent restoration of the highway will take time and is expected by 1st week of March.

The authorities also announced that there shall be no traffic movement on the highway from either side in view of maintenance and repairs on Friday.

Mughal road, connecting Shopian and Poonch districts, also remained closed. Srinagar-Leh highway has been officially closed on the orders by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on December 30.


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