National Highway 444
National Highway 444 (Map)

JAMMU — With no movement of security convoy scheduled during the day, civilian traffic was allowed on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway Wednesday, when it was supposed to be used exclusively by government forces under an official order, authorities said.

On April 07, it was announced that the 270-km highway will be off-limits for civilian traffic twice a week — Wednesday and Sunday — from 4 AM to 5 PM till May 31 to facilitate smooth movement of security convoys.

The order came following a deadly attack in Pulwama on February 14, which left 40 CRPF personnel dead.

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The restrictions drew strong criticism from various quarters especially political parties, civil society and business community in the Valley.

“Normal traffic was allowed on the highway from Jammu to Srinagar this morning after the nodal agency, the CRPF, telephonically informed that there will be no movement of security convoy during the day,” a Traffic Department official said.

However, he said that a landslide hit the highway at Anokhi fall near Ramban around 7 AM which was cleared within two hours by the road clearance agency to ensure smooth movement of traffic.

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The landslide was triggered by rains which lashed wide parts of Jammu and Kashmir including the highway Tuesday, he said.

“The traffic is moving smoothly when last reports were received,” the official said, adding that no vehicle was allowed from the opposite direction in view of the one-way restrictions which are in force due to the ongoing work on the four-laning project.

The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar to ensure smooth movement of the vehicles.

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