NH remains closed on 3rd day, over 2000 vehicles stranded

A JCB clearing highway near Ramsoo in Ramban area on Wednesday. (UNI)
A JCB clearing highway near Ramsoo in Ramban area on Wednesday. (UNI)

Gopal Sharma/
Fayaz Bukhari
JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Feb 14: While Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continued to remain closed for the third consecutive day today, more than 2000 vehicles have been stranded on the road including Ramban  Udhampur  and Nagrota Bypass, whereas, power supply to entire Paddar-Gulabgarh Sub Division and many other areas could not be restored even after third day of the rain and snowfall.
Due to fresh landslide at Kheri  about, 7 kms ahead of Udhampur this morning and land slides at Anokhi Fall, Battery Chashma Marog the Jammu-Srinagar National highway remained closed. The highway near Udhampur was cleared  at around 3.15 pm but due to another fresh land slide near Ramsoo ( Maroog) this evening the highway was again blocked.
IG Traffic, J&K, Basant Rath told the Excelsior that  land- slides at three points between Ramban and Banihal had almost been cleared by the road clearing agencies but due to fresh landslide this evening near Ramsoo, the highway was blocked again and there is no possibility of road clearance by tomorrow afternoon.

Click here to Watch Video
The IG said that no vehicles were allowed to move from Jammu or Srinagar side today and the restrictions will continue till road clearance is announced by the authorities.   He disclosed that about 85 to 100 vehicles were still stranded in Ramban area on the highway. The Udhampur-Batote-Doda- Kishtwar road was however, restored after clearance of boulders/ slides at Kheri ahead of Udhampur this afternoon.
Meanwhile, authorities today issued avalanche warnings for next 24 hours in the hills of Jammu and Kashmir. On the basis of information received from SASE, authorities issued high-danger avalanche warning for avalanche-prone areas in Baramulla district and medium-danger avalanche warning for Kupwara and Bandipora districts.
A low-danger avalanche warning was issued for Anantnag, Ramban, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts. People in the avalanche prone areas have been advised not to venture out.
Official sources said that due to lightening and snowfall, about 150 electric transformers have been damaged in Jammu region. In Sunderbani Sub Division of district Rajouri, 17 electric transformers were  damaged and power supply to about 40 villages has been snapped. The power supply to about two dozen villages of Budhal, Kotranka, Darhal and Thanna Mandi was still snapped. Similar was the power supply position in remote  and snow bound areas of Doda, Ramban, Reasi, Udhampur and Kathua.
Reports from Kishtwar said that entire Paddar (Atholi-Gulabgarh) Sub Division of Kishtwar, having population of more than 25,000 souls has been plunged into darkness for the last three days. After snowfall on February 12, the power supply to the area was snapped and it  could not be restored this evening.
Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Angrez Singh  Rana said that some poles were damaged after rain and snowfall on Sunday night and Monday and  65 kms  power supply line between Kishtwar and Paddar got damaged. He said the PDD men were on the job and they had assured to restore power supply by this evening. The DC said that still in several other villages of Kishtwar, the power supply is being restored by the PDD field staff. There was about five inch snowfall at Atholi-Gulabgarh and about 2 ft at Chashoti, Machail and Gandhari villages.
Reports from Udhampur said that the power supply to many areas of Dudu-Basantgarh-Latti  and Chenani was still snapped. Many areas of Mechhedi, Lohai – Malahar  and Bani area are without power supply for the last three days.
Chief Engineer, EM&RE, Jammu, Ashwani Gupta when contacted disclosed that about 150 electric transformers reported to have been damaged during recent  rains and snowfall in Jammu region. He said in Jammu city, all the damaged transformers  have been restored while there was still problem in Rajouri,  Paddar-Atholi  in Kishtwar and some other remote areas. The PDD field staff was engaged on the restoration work in their respective areas and by next  two days, as weather is improving gradually, the power supply to almost all the remaining areas will be restored.
A Traffic Police official from Udhampur said that about 250 vehicles including load carriers were stranded at Jakheni and over 500 on Udhampur Bypass Road whereas, about 400 trucks were also reportedly awaiting clearance of highway at Dhar,  Manwal-Battal-Mansar Road. About 1000 vehicles/ trucks were also reportedly stranded at Nagrota Bypass and Sidhara Road for the last 2-3 days. At Jammu Bus Stand also about three dozen Valley bound light and medium passenger vehicles are stranded. Huge rush of passengers has accumulated here due to highway blockade.
With the improvement in weather condition and sunny day in most parts of Jammu region,  there has been again slight improvement  in cold conditions.  The temperature has again started rising. Most of the roads in far flung areas have been restored.
Meanwhile, the MeT office has forecast light rain/snow at isolated places over the state. Srinagar recorded a low of 0.0 degree Celsius and maximum of 7.5 degree Celsius.
Gulmarg in North Kashmir settled at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius. The ski resort had a low of 0.1 degrees Celsius.
Kargil and Leh townships in Ladakh region recorded a minimum of minus 10.0 degrees Celsius and minus 10.8 degrees Celsius and a maximum of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius and minus 3.6 degrees Celsius respectively.
Pahalgam in South Kashmir recorded a low of minus 8.2 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 4.9 degrees Celsius.