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Kashmir highway closed, snowfall on upper reaches, rain in plains

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Srinagar, Feb 26 (UNI) The Kashmir valley was cut off from the rest of the country following the closure of the 300-km-long Srinagar- Jammu national highway due to landslides.

Official sources said heavy rains on the entire highway, the only road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, triggered landslides between Ramban and Ramsu.

There is a huge landslide at Panthal on the highway disrupting traffic movement, sources said.

They said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has pressed men and sophisticated machines to clear the highway.

Hundreds of vehicles, including trucks loaded with essential commodities and passenger vehicles, are stranded on the highway.

Meanwhile, the upper reaches in the Kashmir valley experienced moderate to heavy snowfall while plains, including Srinagar city had rains resulting in considerable drop in the temperature.

Official sources said about six inches to one feet of fresh snowfall was recorded at world famous tourist resort of Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, Upperwat and Kongdori.

Sources said the Sadhna Top, linking a number of border areas, including Tangdhar, with Kupwara experienced about six feet of fresh snowfall since yesterday.

The Holy Amarnath cave shrine also experienced about two feet of fresh snowfall while about six inches to one feet of snowfall was recorded at Pissu Top, Mahaguns, Sheshnag and Panjtherni.

The tourist spot of Yusmarg, Deksum, Aharabal and Sonamarg also experienced fresh snowfall since last evening.

The Gomri and Zojila, the highest point on the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway also recorded about one feet to two feet of fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours. The highway is closed for six winter months from November 17 due to snowfall.

Roads and bylanes in most of the areas, including Badshah Nagar, Natipora, Bemina, Azad Basti were under water due to damaged drainage system.

UNI BAS PA RAI1321

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