Nowruz: 60pc decline in vehicles passing via Salang Tunnel
CHARIKAR (Pajhwok): The number of vehicles passing through the Salang tunnel that connects Kabul with northern provinces has declined by 60 percent this season, compared to the same season last year preceding Nowruz (new solar year celebrations) in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province.
The 40-day Gul-i-Sorkh or Nowruz celebrations take place in Mazar-i-Sharif each year. Thousands of people from different provinces visit the northern city to participate in the celebrations and visit the Hazrat Ali (RWA) shrine.
On the eve of the new solar year (March 20), thousands of people from Kabul and other provinces travel to Balkh province through the Salang Pass.
But due to possible snowfall and snowstorms, the passing of vehicles on the route has declined by nearly 60 percent compared to the same period last year, the Salang Pass maintenance commander, Gen. Abdul Rajab, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Last year nearly 18,000 vehicles passed through the Salang tunnel each day, but their numbers reduced to 7000 a day this time, he said.
Snowfall is ongoing on both sides of the tunnel, but they have taken some measures for the safety of passengers and the safety measures would remain in place till 25th of March, he said
“The manforce and machineries are deployed in different parts of the road for immediate action in case of avalanches and snowstorms,” he said.
The snowfall has been forecasted till next Sunday, he said, adding if the threat of snowstorm was serious, they would close the Salang Pass for traffic.
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