Highway closed due to landslides, snowfall
Srinagar, Nov 22: The Kashmir valley was cut again off from the rest of the country after the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for traffic due to landslides and shooting stones, triggered by heavy rains.
The entire Kashmir valley remained under the grip of severe cold following fresh snowfall on upper reaches while plains had rains resulting in considerable drop in the temperature.
A traffic police official told UNI that the highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was closed today after landslides and shooting stones triggered by heavy rains at Penthal.
He said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has pressed into service sophisticated machinery to clear the landslides.
The stranded vehicles will be allowed to proceed towards their respective destinations once the green signal is received from the BRO and traffic personnel deployed on the highway, he said.
Official sources said thousands of passengers in different vehicles, who had left Srinagar and Jammu this morning, are stranded on the highway at different places.
Hundreds of trucks, loaded with essential commodites from Jammu and fruits from Kashmir valley, are stranded on either side of the Jawahar tunnel, the highest point on the highway.
This is for the second time in a week, the highway was closed for traffic due to landslides and shooting stones.
report from Baramulla said the upper reaches in the entire north Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall while plains had rains leading to suspension of traffic to several far flung and remote areas. It said the Sadhna top received about half a feet of fresh snowfall since early this morning.
Reports of snowfall was also received from Kerna, Karnah and Machil.
The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, Affarwat and Kongdori also experienced snowfall, much to the delight of tourists witnessing the snowfall for the first time and skiers who are out on the slopes since early this morning.
The Zojila pass, Gumri and Shantannullah on the Srinagar-Drass- Kargil- Leh highway also received fresh snowfall.
The highway has been officialy closed for six winter months from November 15. However, some vehicles, particularly trucks loaded with essential commodities for Ladakh region, were plying 'illegally'.
The upper reaches in the Drass, second coldest place in the world after Siberia, also had fresh snowfall, leading to considerable drop in the temperature.
The holy Amarnath cave and its periphery also experienced about one feet of fresh snowfall since last evening.