Day-5: Highway closed
Landslides, Shooting Stones At Panthal
Jammu, Feb 10: The 300 kilometer long Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for traffic for the fifth consecutive day today following fresh avalanches warnings by Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) in areas adjoining Shaitaini Nallah and Lower Munda.
An official from the traffic department said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which maintains the highway, was undertaking hectic efforts to open the road. But bad weather was hampering the work.
“Because of continuing landslides and shooting stones in Panthal area near Ramban town, it is not advisable to allow vehicular movement on the road,” said the official.
Official sources said that the road was cleared from the landslides after improvement in weather conditions on Wednesday. “BECON had pressed its men and machinery to clear the highway for vehicular movement since early this morning”, a senior officer from the district administration in Ramban said.
The Kashmir Valley has been receiving heavy rains and snowfall in upper reaches paralysing the routine life for the past many days.
“Around 2,000 small, medium and heavy vehicles were stranded on the NH-1A at various places en route Srinagar as work to clear roads is underway,’’ he added.
He said that the road was cleared by the BECON officials but the traffic was not allowed following fresh avalanche warnings by the SASE.
Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) under the Defence Ministry has issued a low danger avalanche warning for both sides of Jawahar Tunnel, the gateway to Kashmir, and its adjoining areas on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
The Establish has a control centre and an observatory atop the north portal of Jawahar tunnel on the Highway to minimise the threat posed by deadly avalanches.
Traffic officials told Greater Kashmir that the highway was opened for traffic from Banihal to Jammu and the two feet snow accumulated from Lower Munda to Qazigund has also been cleared.
They said the traffic restrictions were however imposed following the avalanche threats. “We do not want to take any risk”, one of the traffic official said.
Late in the evening some of the vehicles stranded at Lower Munda were allowed to move towards Jammu, sources said adding that if the road may be opened for vehicular movement on Thursday. “However only the vehicles stranded at various places along the road will be permitted to move”, sources said.
Meanwhile, several major inter as well as intra-district roads, including Reasi-Mahore, Udhampur-Doda-Kishtwar, Doda-Bhaderwah, Bhimber Gali-Poonch, Bani-Bhaderwah, were closed due to landslides triggered by heavy rains. Upper reaches in mountainous Doda, Poonch, Kishtwar and Ramban districts experienced fresh snowfall in the night while weather was altogether cloudy in the entire region.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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