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Kashmir highway reopens

Srinagar, December 13
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only surface link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, reopened today after remaining closed for three days due to heavy snowfall, with the 1,175 stranded vehicles being allowed to start their onward journey to here.

The 300 km highway was reopened this evening after the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel cleared the road of accumulated snow, official sources said.

They said the vehicles carrying over 1,000 passengers, stranded on the highway since Tuesday after heavy snowfall forced its closure, were given preference and normal traffic would be allowed on the highway tomorrow.

The vehicles -- 1,000 trucks carrying essential commodities and 175 passenger vehicles -- have started moving towards Srinagar after the road was cleared.

The traffic on the arterial road was suspended on December 11 in view of heavy accumulation of snow at several places, especially Jawahar Tunnel - the gateway to Kashmir.

Met office said snowfall equivalent to 53.8 mm of rains was recorded at Banihal while Qazigund and Batote on the highway also experienced snowfall.

Snowfall equivalent to 45.2 mm and 40.0 mm of rains were recorded at these places till 8.30 am today, a spokesman of the Met office said.

Srinagar recorded 5.2 mm of rains while the famous hill resorts of Pahalgam and Kokernag received snowfall equivalent to 15.8 mm and 29.0 mm of rains till 8.30 am, the spokesman said. PTI

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