SRINAGAR: Traffic was on Sunday restored on 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, where two persons were killed and several others were injured in a massive landslide on Saturday evening.

“Essential service vehicles and empty trucks were allowed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu early on Sunday morning on the highway after clearing the landslide in Ramban district,” a traffic police official said.

He said several vehicles, including two soil cutters and six trucks, were trapped after a slope of a hillock came crashing down at Seeri near Ramban on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Saturday evening.

“A massive search and rescue operation was launched,” he said, adding one person was rescued from under the landslide while two persons died.

He said six other persons also received minor injuries in the accident.

He said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) pressed into service sophisticated machines and cleared the landslides. “Traffic was resumed in the wee hours in Sunday after receiving a green signal from NHAI and traffic police officials posted at different places on the highway,” he said.

He said essential service vehicles and empty trucks were allowed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu on Kashmir highway. Only essential service vehicles and SRTC buses, ferrying stranded passengers who were returning from different parts of the country, have been allowed to ply on the highway in view of nation-wide lockdown to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, only essential service vehicles were allowed to move on the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, connecting Ladakh with Kashmir valley.

The 434-km-long highway reopened on April 11 after remaining closed for the past about five months due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. However, only vehicles carrying essentials, including petrol, diesel, LPG cylinders and SRTC buses, were allowed to ply on the highway.

He said no passenger vehicles will be allowed on the highway, where health checkup for truckers and their helpers — while going to Ladakh and the way back — has been made mandatory to curtail the spread of Coronavirus. “Only a driver and a helper would be allowed with a truck, carrying essential commodities to the Union Territory of Ladakh,” he added.

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