BANIHAL/JAMMU: Thousands of commuters were stranded as the Jammu-Srinagar National highway was again blocked by a massive landslide in Ramban district on Sunday afternoon, only hours after traffic resumed on the route.
Traffic on the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, resumed around 3 am on Sunday after remaining suspended for over 13 hours following a massive landslide near Mahar -- two kms short of Ramban town.
Road clearing agencies worked hard to ensure early opening of the road, but the fresh landslide, covering around 100 metres of the road with debris, played spoilsport, officials said. The landslide struck near Digdole and at least 12 hours are needed to make the arterial road traffic-worthy.
Men and machines have been pressed into service to clear the debris, they said.
According to the officials, hundreds of passenger vehicles and trucks carrying essential commodities to the Valley crossed the Jawahar Tunnel -- the gateway to Kashmir -- since this morning.
However, the fresh landslide leftover 1,300 vehicles stranded on the highway, they said.
Traffic on the highway remained suspended on Thursday and Friday after Kashmir Valley and high altitude areas of Jammu region, including Jawahar Tunnel, experienced first major snowfall.
Heavy rains, which lashed the highway from Banihal to Jammu, was causing frequent landslides, the officials said.
Meanwhile, the Mughal Road, which connects the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir's Shopian district, remained closed for the fifth day on Sunday, they said.
The road was closed for traffic on Wednesday after heavy snowfall between Pir Ki Gali and Shopian stretch.