Kashmir Highway Closed Again, 3,000 Vehicles Stranded

Trucks stranded on Kashmir Highway - KO File Pic

SRINAGAR - The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was closed for vehicular traffic on Friday due to a landslide in Ramban district that left over 3,000 vehicles stranded, officials said.

The 270-km-long highway, which is the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, was blocked by the landslide at the Digdol area in the district on Thursday night, they said.

Over 3,000 heavy motor vehicles (HMVs) and 300 light motor vehicles (LMVs) are stranded at different locations along the highway, the officials said.

The men and machinery have been deployed to clear the area, they added.

The highway remained closed for three days last week due to snowfall and landslides triggered by heavy rains.

Upper heights receive fresh snowfall, rain in plains in Kashmir

The upper reaches in Kashmir valley, including world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, received fresh snowfall while rain lashed Srinagar and other plains since Thursday night.

A Met department spokesman said a Western Disturbance (WD) is active over the region which could result in further snow and rain during the next 24 hours. “Due to this WD, which originates in Arabian sea and entered the region through Afghanistan and Pakistan, the night temperature would increase but the day will become colder,” he said.

However, he said, the weather will improve from November 17 which will bring some relief to people from chill.

The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, received about six inches of fresh snowfall since last night.

The ski slopes are now under more than three feet of white powder, ready to receive skiers and other adventure lovers from across the globe, said those associated with the tourism industry which has suffered heavy loss after August 3, when government ordered tourists and other outsiders to leave the valley for security reasons. Centre later scrapped Article 370 and 35 A besides divided the state into two Union Territories on August 5.

The upper reaches in Gulmarg, including Kongdori, Khilanmarg and Affarwat, the highest skiing point connected by Gandola Cable Car, received about a foot of fresh snowfall.

The higher reaches in north Kashmir, including the areas near the Line of Control (LoC) also received fresh snowfall since Thursday night. Dozens of roads leading to far flung, remote and border villages were closed to snowfall. However, troops guarding the LoC remained on high alert to foil any infiltration attempt from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) despite facing all odds, including weather woes.

World famous health resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as base camp during annual Amarnath yatra, also received several inches of fresh snowfall. Moderate to heavy snowfall was experienced at holy Amarnath cave and its periphery, Panjterni, Mahaguns, Sheshnag, Pisso top and Chandanwari, the first halting station on traditional yatra route.

Tourist resorts of Deksum and other upper reaches in south Kashmir also received fresh snowfall. Fresh snowfall was also experienced on the historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. The road is closed since November 6 due to accumulation of several feet of snow.

Fresh snowfall was also recorded at Sonamarg and other upper reaches in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal. Due to fresh snowfall at Sonamarg, Zojila and Meenmarg, the Srinagar-Leh national highway remained closed for the second day on Friday.

A report from Drass, second coldest place in the world after Siberia, said that fresh snowfall was received since Friday morning. The upper reaches in Leh besides Nobra and Zanaskar also received fresh snowfall.

The tourist resort of Yusmarg and other heights also received fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours in Badgam district of central Kashmir. Summer capital of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar had rain since last night resulting in cold.

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