Mughal, Anantnag-Kishtwar roads open for passenger traffic

SRINAGAR: The historic 86 km-km-long Mughal road and Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road on Monday opened for passenger traffic after remaining suspended for about seven months due to accumulation of snow and COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, the national highways connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country and Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Srinagar are also through for traffic movement.

A traffic police official told UNI on Monday that Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs), including those carrying passengers were allowed to ply on the Mughal road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

Passenger traffic was allowed from today after the intervention by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha who directed local administration to allow normal traffic movement on the road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.

The road was closed in December last year due to heavy snowfall, avalanches and slippery road condition. However, the district administration from Poonch, Rajouri and Shopian launched snow clearance operation which was completed in the last week of April this year. However, only trucks carrying perishable fruit and vegetables besides empty trucks and oil tankers were allowed to ply from Shopian to Poonch.

Medical emergencies were also allowed to ply only after proper permission from Duty Commissioners (DCs) and other senior officers of the administration from June. Leaders of almost all political parties besides people living on both sides of the road demanded allowing public transport on the road. A number of delegations met LG Sinha who finally allowed passenger traffic on the road last week from today. Passengers had cover about 600 km as they had to travel first to Jammu and then to Srinagar while through Mughal road it is just 86 km to reach Srinagar.

Traffic police official said LMVs will have to ply from Behramgalla, Poonch from 0800 hrs to 1500 hrs while from Herpora Shopian from 0800 hrs to 1600 hrs only. The HMVs, upto ten tyres, from Herpora between 0900 hrs to 1500 hrs, he said adding no HMV will be allowed from opposite direction.

He said LMV passenger traffic was also allowed from today on Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar road, also for the first time since December last year. Only patients and medical emergencies were allowed to ply after the road was reopened last month when snow was cleared by the administration. LMVs will ply from both sides from today, he said.

He said LMVs will ply from both sides on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The HMVs and security forces will ply from Jammu to Srinagar only, he said.

Only one-way traffic will ply today from Kargil to Srinagar on the national highway, linking UT Ladakh with Kashmir.

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