The Jammu-Srinagar highway connects Kashmir with the rest of the country
Hundreds are stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway over the past two days after multiple landslides led to the blocking of the key road that connects Kashmir with the rest of the country.
Among the vehicles stuck on the highway were two ambulances transporting dead bodies for their last rites, and several trucks carrying essential supplies.
Officials said that after 30 hours had passed, some volunteers shifted the two bodies towards the Banihal side so that they can be taken to Srinagar. Ramban deputy commissioner Mussarat Zia praised the volunteers for their bravery.
People have been advised not to travel on the highway and keep checking updates about the situation.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is a critical link between the Valley and the rest of the country. Frequent closures, mostly due to landslides, leads to shortage of essential supplies and surge in prices.
For the past several years, construction of a four-lane highway to provide all-weather connectivity to Kashmir is underway. But in many places, haphazard use of bulldozers to carve a road along the mountains has loosened the soil and contributed to the landslides.
Of late, shooting stones have led to frequent blockades on the highway. Even yesterday, a massive landslide hit the highway near Banihal.
The area is not avalanche-prone, but the highway has now become very unpredictable owing to the construction work. Officials said the shooting stones are also affecting restoration work at the blockade points.