VALLEY CUT OFF
Road, Rail, Air Traffic Disrupted; 75 Vehicles Trapped Inside Jawahar Tunnel
ARIF SHAFI/SYED AMJAD SHAH
Srinagar/Jammu, Dec 30: Due to heavy snowfall Kashmir valley remained disconnected from rest of the world on Thursday with the suspension both surface as well as air traffic to and from the Valley remaining suspended.
While Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed last evening following snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel area, no flights operated from Srinagar International Airport today in view of the inclement weather conditions.
The lone train service on Qazigund-Budgam stretch in the Valley, which resumed on December 23 following five month long shutdown, was again suspended today following snowfall on the track.
About seventy to seventy-five vehicles with around 1000 passengers are trapped inside the Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway following heavy snowfall in the area, while the airports authority Thursday cancelled all the flights from Jammu to Srinagar.
The vehicular movement on Jammu-Srinagar highway was suspended by the traffic police since last evening after heavy snow and rains lashed the area, sources said. They said that the traffic was stopped on the main artery connecting Srinagar with the rest of the country after it turned slippery at several places. He said District Development Commissioner Anantnag Jaipal Singh is personally monitoring the situation at the Tunnel.
According to official sources, around 15 inches of snow had accumulated at Jawahar Tunnel on Qazigund side till 7.00 pm on Thursday.
“Nearly seventy -to-seventy five vehicles are trapped inside the Jawahar Tunnel. But the passengers are safe.
On the other side upto Qazigund the situation is more critical due to slippery road. The department has been making all efforts to shift the stranded passengers to safer places”, Deputy Superintendent of Police (National Highway) Ram Singh told Greater Kashmir.
However, according to PRO CRPF, Prabhakar Tripathi, more than 350 people including ladies, children and elderly persons stranded inside the tunnel were shifted to a nearby camp of 24 battalion of CRPF. He said the CRPF is providing them necessary accommodation, food and heating arrangement.
He said traffic on the highway has been stopped from either the side as the road has turned slipper, particularly above Banihal upto Jawahar Tunnel and beyond it towards Valley side. He said reports of landslides and shooting stones were also received from trouble spots of Panthiyal and Ramsu.
The vehicles, he said, have been stopped to go ahead from Udhampur to Patnitop and than from Chanderkot to Ramban, while some of the vehicles are trapped inside the Jawahar tunnel.
Since snowfall has been witnessed in Patnitop and its surrounding areas, he said, the traffic was stopped at around 4.30 pm as the road was not safe for traffic. Patnitop recorded four inches of snow till 3 pm, he added.
The passenger and private vehicles, he informed have been stopped at Chanderkote and Ramban, adding that some stones fell at Ramsu and Panthiyal, though no untoward incident took place.
Report reaching here said that huge traffic jam was witnessed near Udhampur after traffic police stopped vehicles at Balli Nallah (Udhampur) last night around 9 pm.
Long queues of hundreds of vehicles, including commercial and private, were lined up from Nagrota to Udhampur and no vehicle was allowed to move ahead by the traffic department. Doda and Kishtwar bound vehicles, sources said, were allowed to move to their destinations at around 10 am this morning.
Meanwhile, reports said that Patnitop and its mountains witnessed heavy snow fall since last evening. Officials said that four inches of snow fall was recorded till 3 p.m. and it continued till last reports came in.
Meanwhile, Jammu airport authorities have cancelled all routine seven flights from Jammu to Srinagar due to heavy rain and snowfall being experienced in the state since yesterday evening. Even some of the flights from Delhi to Srinagar were also not allowed in view of the inclement whether conditions an Airport Authority official when contacted, told Greater Kashmir.
He informed that a Kingfisher carrier flight from Delhi had to go Srinagar via Jammu but it too failed to reach here due to bad whether conditions.
He however said that a Go Air flight from Delhi reached Jammu, this morning, and later, it flew for Leh on its proper time.
“Rest of the flights, which reached Jammu airport from Delhi were half-an-hour behind the scheduled,” the official added.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 30 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 30 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 31 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
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