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7-day-old baby among 43 stranded in Kargil

Written by: Staff
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Kargil, Dec 5 (UNI) About 43 people, mostly labourers and their family members, including a seven-day-old baby and five women from different parts of the country are stranded here since November 15 after the Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Leh national highway was closed for six winter months due to snowfall.

The body of a Kashmiri teacher, who was buried under a snow avalanche at Zero point on Srinagar-Leh national highway on Novemeber 25, could not be recovered due to continuous snowfall and bad weather.

Official sources said 43 people, mostly labourers and their family members from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu region are stranded here since November 15.

The labourers working with different construction companies in Kargil and Drass could not leave for Srinagar after the highway was closed for six winter months after snowfall at Gumri and Zojilla.

The stranded passengers are staying in the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) yard despite severe cold.

A UNI correspondent who visited the SRTC yard this morning saw the stranded people sitting in a room without any heating arrangements.

They said the local authorities have failed to provide them any facility. ''We are being fed by local Muslims'', the stranded people said adding one woman gave birth to a baby last week.

The labourers demanded that they be airlifted to Srinagar.

The Kargil town witnessed yet another snowfall today, forcing people to remain indoors.

Reports of heavy snowfall was also received from Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia.

It was also snowing on all upper reaches in Kargil, Drass and Sankoo.

The rescue teams searching for the body of a Kashmiri teacher who was buried under a snow avalanche at Zero point on the Srinagar-Leh national highway, returned back without achieving any breakthrough.

The rescue operation could not be resumed because of snowfall and bad weather in the entire belt. It was also snowing at Zojila, Gumri, Shantan Nullah and Zero point on the highway, which has been closed for six winter months on November 15.

However, about a dozen vehicles are stranded on the highway at different places because of snowfall.

UNI XC/BAS LS DS1632

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