Banihal (JK), Dec 12 (PTI) Hundreds of vehicles were left stranded Wednesday after authorities suspended traffic on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, following snowfall, a senior officer said.

Over 1,800 Kashmir-bound vehicles, including trucks and light motor vehicles, were stopped at various places between Banihal and Udhampur sector after heavy snowfall rendered the road slippery, said Senior Superintendent of Police (traffic) Shakti Pathak.

All the stranded vehicles have been moved to safer places along the highway and would be allowed to move towards their destination tomorrow if weather permits, Pathak told PTI. About one-and-a-half feet of snow has accumulated on both sides of Jawahar Tunnel the gateway to Kashmir Valley, an official said, adding that snowfall was still on in Jawahar Tunnel and Qazigund (south Kashmir) stretch.

Efforts were on to provide boarding and lodging to the stranded passengers, they said.

Agencies concerned have kept their men and machines at standby and are waiting for improvement in the weather to start road clearance operation, they added. Besides snowfall, most parts of Jammu region were lashed by intermittent rains during the day, engulfing the region in cold. Due to the weather condition, the maximum temperature in Jammu city fell by almost 10 degrees Celsius compared to Tuesday and settled at 13.2 degrees Celsius , 8.2 degrees below normal during this part of the season, an official of the Met department said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.