"Yesterday, when the road was opened for some time, we managed to clear more than 3,000 stranded vehicles, on Monday there are around 1,500 stranded vehicles at one stretch and there might be 500 more at other places on the highway," SSP Traffic National Highway Sanjay Kotwal said.

More than 2 feet snowfall has been accumulated near the Jawahar Tunnel, but snowfall is not the problem, the problem is that the incessant rain and snowfall has triggered massive landslides at various places along the highway, Kotwal said.

He explained, the highway has been washed away at several places by landslides and the inclement weather was hampering restoration work.

"It might take eight to ten hours to clear the road once the weather improves, but as long as it continues to rain or snow, the road cannot be thrown open for vehicular traffic," Kotwal added.

Acknowledging that the passengers stranded on the highway were facing  the shortage of food and drinking water, he informed that the traffic police has requested the civil administration in Udhampur to provide them with food and water.

Several places in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed incessant rainfall since the last 48 hours which has also increased the risk of flooding in the low-lying areas in Jammu region.

"The water level continues to rise in the Tawi river and various other tributaries in Jammu region, increasing the risk of flooding in several low lying areas in the region," an officer of the irrigation department said.

He added the department has issued an advisory to the people living in the low lying areas to maintain "caution."     Various other highways, including the Batote Doda highway, have also been closed in the state.

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