Week on, dozens of villages in Tulail tehsil continue to remain cut off from Gurez Valley in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district due to snowfall, with inclement weather prolonging the snow clearance operations.
According to the locals the recent heavy snowfall has cut off over a dozen villages and a number of hamlets from Dawar in Gurez, with snow and avalanche warnings further restricting the villagers to their homes.
Raja Aijaz from Tulail said that the tehsil has been cut off by recent heavy snowfall and there are overall as many as 48 small and large villages affected with almost four feet deep snow accumulated across Tulail.
The first village of Tulail namely PTL falls at 25-kilometers from Dawar and the last village Chakwali at 80 kilometers with majority of the villages falling on Dawar-Tulail road.
Meanwhile, in Gurez, the main link roads have been restored but the residents said that inner link roads buried under four to five feet deep snow were hampering the movement of the people, particularly of the students.
Abdul Raheemm, a local from Dawar said that the lanes and link buried under dnow were making it difficult for people to walk.
SDM Gurez, Mudasir Ahmad said that all the stretch from Dawar to Gurez is avalanche prone and normally “we have to wait for at least two days after snowfall to begin clearance operations”.
He said that they had plans to start clearance operation on Saturday “but the (fresh) snowfall postponed the operations for two more days and will likely start on Sunday.”
Ahmad said that it was nearly impossible to clear the inner link roads as there is huge accumulation of snow. He said the snow falling from the rooftops is further adding to the accumulated snow on the link roads “and our priority remained to clear main roads connecting Dawar, which have been cleared”.
The 84-kilometer Bandipora-Gurez road maintained by BRO has already been closed from 1 January and will likely open after winter months.