Rajouri, September 15 – After a culvert that had been built next to a bridge construction site at Rajal Top in Nowshera washed away by flash floods in a nearby rivulet caused by overnight heavy rains, vehicular traffic on the Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway (NH 144A) was shut down for more than five hours on Friday.
Around 6 am, the roadway was blocked to traffic; around 11 am, it reopened to traffic.
According to officials, the competent department is now upgrading NH 144A and is working on building a bridge at Rajal Top. A minor culvert was erected beside the roadway at this place to help with vehicle movement while the main section of the highway is now blocked to traffic. Since about a month ago, cars have been using this culvert as a diversion around the NH stretch.
They claimed that the flash flood that caused the culvert to be washed away occurred as a result of heavy rain that fell over the intervening night of September 14 and 15. The roadway was shut down as a consequence of this.
“Hundreds of cars were left stuck on both sides of the impacted location due to the broken culvert. In an effort to get to their destinations on time, the travellers could be seen panicking, according to authorities.
The highway was opened to traffic after a five-hour delay, they said, “The concerned agency, performing highway upgradation work, pressed its men and machinery into work.”
Light Motor cars (LMVs) and private cars were routed to Rajouri and Jammu through Nowshera-Seri-Beripattan road after the highway was closed, while heavy trucks and passenger vehicles were diverted to the Rajouri-Kalakote-Siot road, according to DTI Traffic Nowshera division’s Ajaz Mirza.
However, due to a truck being trapped in a muddy pothole at Kallar near Rajouri, traffic on the National Highway was also kept from moving.
According to officials, a cargo vehicle travelling from Jammu to Rajouri became trapped in a muddy pothole near Kallar, forcing the route to be closed.
The vehicle was eventually taken off the road, and an hour later traffic was allowed to resume.
From Akhnoor to Poonch, National Highway 144A from Jammu to Rajouri-Poonch is now being upgraded to two lanes with a paved shoulder.
Due to ongoing construction, the section of road often has slick conditions and large potholes that impede vehicle travel.