Rains in Jammu plains, snowfall in hilly areas

Stranded Passengers Face Ordeal; 1 Dies

ABHINAV VERMA

Jammu, Jan 18: Moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded in hilly areas while rains lashed plains of Jammu region on Friday bringing down the temperatures considerably.
As per the Meteorological department, Bhaderwah recorded 4 cm snowfall while Banihal witnessed 10 cm snowfall. The snowfall also plunged the mercury level across Jammu region. Bhaderwah, Banihal and Kishtwar recorded minimum temperatures below the freezing point.
Jammu city and other plains of the region recorded heavy rainfall during the last 24 hours. Batote recorded highest rainfall at 31mm while Katra recorded 27 mm of rainfall. Jammu, the winter capital city of the state, recorded 17.3 mm rainfall.
The maximum temperature in Jammu was recorded at 11.8 degree Celsius which was 8 notches below normal while the minimum was recorded at 10.3 degree Celsius.

SUMIT BHARGAV
ADDS FROM RAJOURI:

Heavy snowfall and rainfall coupled with extreme cold conditions have thrown normal life out of gear in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. It was for the first time in last one decade that Poonch township recorded moderate snowfall.
Hilly areas in Rajouri have witnessed moderate to heavy snowfall while heavy rainfall has also been reported from almost entire district from the past two days due to which several areas have been disconnected. Rajouri-Darhal, Rajouri-Thanamandi and Rajouri-Kotranka roads have also been closed.
In Kotranka tehsil, proper Kotranka, Moura, Draj, Nangi Thup, Khwas, Budhal, Badhal and majority of other areas witnessed heavy snowfall last night due to which main road leading to Kotranka from Rajouri has been closed while several other roads including Kotranka-Khwas, Kotranka-Budhal, Kotranka- Sungri were also closed for traffic.
District administration Poonch has ordered closer of schools and colleges in the district on Saturday.

PASSENGERS STRANDED
Over 200 Kashmir-bound passengers stranded here at the General Bus stand, following the closure of Jammu-Srinagar highway, are compelled to spend chilly days and nights under open sky for last three days as the administration has made no arrangement for them. The passengers including children, old aged and women are facing immense hardships.
Waiting for opening of the highway, the passengers are running the risk of getting sick given the inhospitable and unhygienic conditions in which they are living for last three days.
Majority of them being labourers and petty businessmen, are facing huge problems to survive as many of them are running short of money.
“No official or political representative has come to assess the pathetic condition of passengers standard here since Wednesday afternoon,” said Ghulam Nabi, who along with his family is putting up at the bus stand for last two days.
“Every year this road is blocked in winters but district administration never makes any arrangement in advance for the stranded passengers,” said Muhammad Zakir, a labourer from Islamabad (Anantnag), who has just returned from Lucknow.
In addition to the inhospitable conditions, the passengers are also being fleeced by shopkeepers by charging exorbitant prices for eatables and other commodities.
An elderly woman of Banihal, Bano Bibi, said that her daughter was undergoing treatment in Government Medical College Hospital for the last one week and was discharged yesterday. “We spent the night in the open,” she said.
“We are running short of money due to which we cannot afford to take a room on rent,” Bano Bibi added.
Another standard passenger, Ghulam Ahmed, rued that the district administration and government was least bothered about the condition of stranded passengers. “My two young sons are not willing to stay in these conditions but my financial condition does not allow me to take shelter in a hotel room,” he said.

ONE DIES IN JAMMU
Severe cold conditions in Jammu claimed life of a homeless person here. Police said the traders at the General Bus Stand Jammu informed them about the person lying on the roadside. “A police team rushed to the spot and shifted the person to Government Medical College and Hospital where he was declared as brought dead,” police said.
This is the third such incident. Earlier, two homeless persons died due to intense cold last month.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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