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Jammu and Kashmir highway remains closed for third day


SRINAGAR: The Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the third consecutive day on Thursday due to multiple landslides triggered by incessant rains. The officials used explosives to blast boulders that were hampering the ongoing restoration work on the 270-km-long strategic national highway.

With improvement in weather, the restoration work at over half-a-dozen places in Udhampur and Ramban districts was speeded up in the morning as over 700 Kashmir-bound stranded vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essential commodities, were cleared, the officials said.

They said efforts are on to clear the remaining 1,300 vehicles that are stranded on the highway — the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country. Explosives were used to blast boulders at Dewal bridge near Samroli in Udhampur district, where a huge landslide had blocked a long stretch of the road.

Udhampur Deputy Commissioner Krittika Jyotsna visited the landslide-hit area to review the situation, the officials said, adding the restoration work might stretch till Friday afternoon given the massive debris.
The highway was blocked on Tuesday evening due to landslides, mudslides and shooting stones at 33 places in Ramban and Udhampur districts. A 150-feet-long road stretch and an under-construction bridge on the highway were also washed away.