Flood Threat Almost Over


Srinagar: Flood threat is almost over though more wet weather is predicted during the next 24 hours in the Kashmir valley, where people had sleepless night during the past three days following increase in water level in river Jhelum and its tributaries due to torrential rains and snow.

However, a number of low lying areas remained waterlogged and several road diversions and bridges were damaged in the flash floods in the valley, where weather has finally improved.

There could be light rain or snow in the Kashmir valley during the next 24 followed by dry weather during subsequent two days, a Met department spokesman said this afternoon.

The water level which was flowing above danger mark at Sangam in south Kashmir, Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar and Asham in the down streams in north Kashmir during the past two days following torrential rains.

However, the the water level in river Jhelum has witnessed decrease following improvement in the weather though there was 3.4 mm rainfall during the past 24 hours in Srinagar.

The water witnessed major drop at Sangam and it was recorded 16.75 feet at 1200 hrs today, 4.25 feet below danger mark, an official of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) told UNI this afternoon.

      However, he said though water is receeding at Ram Munshi Bagh but it was still slightly above danger mark. It has come down from 20.20 feet recorded yesterday to 18.10 feet this noon when the normal is 18 feet. The water level is still going down, he said.

At down stream Asham the water level is 12.66 feet which is also above danger mark, he said adding it will now start receding.

A number of lowlaying areas in Srinagar, including at Bemina, remained inundated. However, in majority areas the authorities had pressed into service dewatering pumps to drain out the rain water.

 A number of villages in Baramulla, Badgam and south Kashmir also remained waterlogged.

Valley cut off for 4th day

Srinagar: The Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the 4th day today due to closure of 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway due to landslides.

Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials are stranded on the highway at several places on other side of Jawahar tunnel.

We allowed some stranded vehicles to move yesterday for a brief period but fresh landslides and shooting stones forced us to suspend traffic again, a traffic police official told UNI.

 Meanwhile, the Ladakh region remained cut off from the Kashmir valley though the road was put through from Srinagar to Gumri on this side of the Zojila pass.

There was also fresh snowfall on historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, which remained closed for the past four months.

Traffic remained suspended on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway for the 5th day today as there were fresh landslides, traffic police official said.

 He said stranded vehicles were allowed to move yesterday before they were again stopped following fresh landslides at several places between Ramban and Ramsu.

Hundreds of Kashmir bound vehicles, particularly those carrying essentials, including vegetables, are stranded at different places, including Jammu, Udhampur and Nagrota due to closure of the highway. The prices of essentials has witnessed increase due to closure of the highway.

Similarly empty trucks and oil tankers besides other vehicles are stranded on this side of the Jawahar tunnel.

However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintainance of the highway, has already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to put through the highway. However, continued rain, triggering more landslides yesterday.

Traffic police official said traffic on the highway will be allowed only after receiving green signal from the BRO and traffic police personnel deployed at several places.

Traffic on the highway was disrupted frequently since January 6 when there was first major snowfall in the valley. Closure of the highway resulted in shortage and increase of prices of essentials in the valley, where everything is imported from different state. However, BRO reopened the highway but only one-way traffic was allowed as the road remained damaged and narrow at several places due to landslides.

There was fresh snowfall on Srinagar-Leh national highway, particularly at Zojila pass and Zero point, hampering the snow clearance operation launched by BEACON authorities. Snow clearance operation was going on from both sides of the Zojila pass, officials said adding but fresh snowfall besides threat of avalanche could delay the early reopening of highway, which was closed in December last year.

The authorities have allowed light vehicle traffic from Srinagar to Gumri only on the highway, which remained closed for the past four months

Similarly there was also fresh snowfall on historic Mughal raod badly affecting snow clearance operation. The road, which is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu highway, was to reopen on April 15 after remaining closed for the past four months.

Dozens of far flung and remote areas, including those near the Line of Control (LoC)  remained cut off from their respective district headquarter for the past four months due to accumulation of snow.



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