Af­ter snow, land­slips block Jammu-Sri­na­gar high­way

DAY 5 Shoot­ing stones make road-clear­ing op­er­a­tions a tough task for au­thor­i­ties

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Region - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

JAMMU/SRI­NA­GAR: The Val­ley re­mained cut off from the rest of the coun­try for the fifth con­sec­u­tive day on Sun­day, due to the clo­sure of Jammu-Sri­na­gar na­tional high­way. The high­way was closed on Tues­day af­ter it was blocked due ac­cu­mu­la­tion of snow at Nowgam-Jawa­har Tun­nel-Qazi­gund sec­tor and mul­ti­ple land­slides be­tween Ram­ban and Bani­hal sec­tions along the high­way.

Though snow has been cleared, fresh land­slides in last three days, es­pe­cially be­tween Ram­soo-Ram­ban sec­tor, has hit the restora­tion work, leav­ing many ve­hi­cles stranded at dif­fi­dent lo­ca­tions from Jammu to Ram­bam.

“The high­way was cleared of de­bris on Satur­day, how­ever, fresh land­slides had oc­curred at Pan­thial, Kela Morh and Bat­tery Chashma, Dig­dole, Khuni Nal­lah and Ma­roog overnight leav­ing the road once again blocked,” Ram­ban deputy su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice, traf­fic, Suresh Sharma said.

Con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing of stones is pos­ing a major chal­lenge to the agen­cies in­volved in the clear­ance op­er­a­tion. As per lo­cals, it will take at least three days to clear the de­bris, pro­vided the slid­ing stops.

Nearly 3000 Kash­mir-bound ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing trucks and other load car­ri­ers, were stranded at Jammu by­pass and Ud­ham­pur be­sides Man­walMansar area of the high­way.

In view of the clo­sure of the high­way,186 pas­sen­gers stranded at Jammu were air­lifted to Sri­na­gar on Sun­day.

An ex­ec­u­tive en­gi­neer, who was as­signed to clear snow on roads in Kisht­war dis­trict, was sus­pended for dere­lic­tion of duty, an of­fi­cial spokesper­son said.

Dis­trict devel­op­ment com­mis­sioner An­grez Singh Rana said he had passed di­rec­tions to all of­fi­cers to re­main on high alert and keep men and ma­chin­ery on standby in view of the pre­dic­tion of heavy snow­fall on Thurs­day.

How­ever, the of­fi­cer paid no heed to­wards the di­rec­tions and left the head­quar­ter without in­form­ing the deputy com­mis­sioner. Mean­while, Sri­na­gar recorded -3.4°C as the min­i­mum tem­per­a­ture on Sun­day, while in Pa­hal­gam and Gul­marg it was -8°C and -10°C. Most wa­ter taps were frozen in Sri­na­gar. Peo­ple lit small fires around the wa­ter pipes to de­frost them. The night tem­per­a­ture in Jammu city marked an increase of over three notches to set­tle at 7.1°C, three notches be­low nor­mal, against the pre­vi­ous night’s 4°C.

RE­MOTE AR­EAS IN HP RE­MAIN CUT OFF

Weather woes con­tinue to affect res­i­dents of re­mote ar­eas in Hi­machal Pradesh as they re­main cut­off from the rest of the state due to snow.

Most roads in tribal Kin­naur, La­haul and Spiti and Bhar­mour and Pangi sub-di­vi­sions in Chamba dis­trict and higher reaches in Shimla, Mandi and Sir­mour re­main closed for traf­fic.

Adding to the woes, most homes in Bhar­mour are without elec­tric­ity for the last three days. The re­mote Ch­hota Bhan­gal re­gion of Kan­gra dis­trict also re­mained cut off for an­other day

Bhar­mour sub-di­vi­sional mag­is­trate Prithi Pal Singh said there has been an ex­ten­sive dam­age to power trans­mis­sion lines in the re­gion and it may take more than a week to re­store the power sup­ply.

ANI

■ A snow-clear­ing op­er­a­tion in progress on the Jammu-Sri­na­gar na­tional high­way at Qazi­gund in Sri­na­gar on Sun­day.

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