The incessant rainfall for three days has wreaked havoc across the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch, putting the district administrations on high alert, officials said on Sunday. Reports said seven families were shifted to safer places after impending landslide threat to their dwellings at Kewal village of Budhal Tehsil in Rajouri.
In Arai village of Mandi area, the risk of landslides is looming large and teams of police were rushed to the village to deal with any eventuality, a police official said.
"We have already deputed manpower to Arai village of Mandi where we fear landslides. Teams of SDRF and police are on stand-by to meet any emergent situation," SSP Poonch, JS Johar told Greater Kashmir. Police have asked people to stay indoors and avoid going near water bodies as heavy and incessant rains lashed the region for the third consecutive day Sunday.
The Rajouri administration has also decided to close all educational institutions up to 8th standard on Monday.
"Keeping in view the inclement weather conditions, all educational institutions up to 8th standard (government as well as private) in Rajouri district will remain closed on Monday" an order issued by the office of District Magistrate stated.
As per details available with Greater Kashmir, due to "carelessness" of the concerned department, the debris dumped alongside under-construction road from Kewal to Targain village of Budhal resulted in sliding in the morning "which exposed seven residential houses in the area to danger."
"All the seven houses were vacated and six families were shifted to other houses in safer zones whereas one family has been shifted to a Panchayat Ghar" ADC Rajouri, MumtazChowdhary told Greater Kashmir.
He said the administration was keeping a close eye on the situation as there is risk of landslides from a hill-slope.
Meanwhile as per initial details, two residential structures each at Kotedhara village Rajouri and Draman village of Budhal have suffered damage due to rainfall.
In Poonch district, the Bailey Bridge alongside damaged Sher-e-Kashmir bridge has been closed for traffic, officials said.
"The bridge is almost inundated since evening and traffic from both sides has been stopped and people are advised not to move near it," a police official said.
Special help lines have also been set up in PCR Poonch and Office of Flood Control & Irrigation Department with the authorities appealing people to call on numbers 01965220258 and 01965220267 in case of any emergency.
Meanwhile, a road link between Kishtwar and Padder remained cut off due to landslides near Chasoou, Galhar, Gulabgarh, Pangy.
The Batote-Kishtwar Highway, connecting twin districts of Doda and Kishtwar with rest of the state, was closed again on Sunday morning when a huge landslide blocked the road at Ragi-Nullah—21 kms from Doda. "Today morning, a massive landslide and a huge boulder blocked the road near Ragi-Nullah on Batote-Doda stretch," an official said. More than 150 passenger vehicles and those carrying essential commodities were stranded on both sides of the highway, he said. Late in the evening, a traffic police official claimed: "The highway has been reopened for vehicular traffic after clearance of the landslide."