Srinagar, May 11 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, thousands of vehicles are stranded at various places on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which remains closed for the traffic on the third consecutive day, today, due to landslides and shooting stones at various places in Ramban.

A traffic police official said although the traffic was restored late Friday night, but after fresh landslides near Digdole in Ramban it was again closed for traffic.

The Met department has predicted rains for the next three days in the territory which will likely trigger more landslides and shooting stones on the road.

There were about 3,000 vehicles stranded on the highway till Friday morning, which has now shot up to 8,000.

Those who were left stranded said the administration is missing as there is no arrangement for them.

Meanwhile, prices of essentials, particularly fresh vegetable and fruit besides chicken and meat, has witnessed sharp increase during the past few weeks due to frequent closure of the highway and ban imposed by the authorities on movement of civilian traffic two days a week. Though the authorities have now lifted the ban on Wednesday from next week, the Sunday closure of the only highway will continue.

The members of fruit growers association, Sopore, said they have suffered a loss of over Rs 500 crores due to frequent closure of the highway for one or another reason. A truck carrying apple from Kashmir took 10 to 15 days to reach New Delhi and other markets against the usual four to five days.

General Secretary of All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association, Mehraj-u-Din Ganai, said mutton dealers fret losses because more than 150 livestock trucks are stranded along the road. He said several sheep and chicken have died of heat in Udhampur.

He estimated a loss of Rs 2-3 lakh per truck of livestock and asked the authorities to raise mutton prices like the chicken prices were hiked recently.

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