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Soldier buried; 5 houses collapse, 60 cattle perish

NH re-opened, one-way traffic today from Srinagar

Fayaz Bukhari/
Gopal Sharma

SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Feb  6: While a soldier was buried alive in a  Kucha bunker near the Line of Control in Nowshera sector last night,  five houses collapsed in remote areas of  Kishtwar resulting into the death of at least 60 cattle while one way traffic was restored on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway this afternoon.
The Jammu-Srinagar Highway which remained closed for the last four days for traffic after massive landslides at several places, was cleared by the BRO and National Highway authorities at around 3.15 pm today after seven hours work by the agencies.  “All the stranded vehicles were cleared for Srinagar including trucks  and other load carriers, loaded with the goods for Kashmir while tomorrow one way traffic for Jammu from Srinagar will be allowed,” a Traffic Police official said.
A Meteorological Department official said that the weather is likely to improve in coming days while at isolated places, rain and snowfall might occur within 24 hours over Jammu and Kashmir.”We are expecting the weather to improve from 9th of this month and remain pleasing to long time. However, the chances of snow and rain can’t be denied,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Ghulam Nabi Balwan told the  Excelsior that three houses collapsed in remote Tander area of Dachhan last evening due to landslides. He said the house of Mohd Ramzan Wani, son of Rasool Ahmed was totally perished, the other two houses belonging to Ghulam Hassan and Jamshed Ali were damaged partially.
Though there was no loss of human life reported so far but at least 60 sheep/ goats/ bovine animals are said to have  been buried in the landslides. Balwan said that joint team of  Revenue,  Police  and Veterinary staff has been dispatched to the area.
The DC further disclosed that two more houses reported to have been collapsed in Renai and   Guranttar areas of Marwah, but details are awaited from there. No loss of human life has been reported from there so far. He disclosed that  entire Paddar/ Ghulabgarh area has been plunged into darkness for the last eight days while landslides and snow was cleared at most of the places. The traffic was restored on this road today, he maintained.
Reports from Rajouri said that Lance Naik Tripanday, hailing from Tamil Nadu was deployed at the Line of Control in Jhangar  area of Nowshera sector. He was in his Kucha bunker when it collapsed due to heavy rains during last 2-3 days. The dead body of the jawan along with weapon was later extricated by the other Army jawans from the bunker. His body was dispatched to his home town this afternoon.
Meanwhile,  after the clearance of  land sliding  between Ramban and Banihal today, over 3000 stranded vehicles including most of them goods carriers, were allowed to move towards Kashmir from Udhampur, Nagrota Bypass, Jammu, Chanderkote and Ramban areas. Only one way traffic was allowed.
IG Traffic, S A Watali said that as the convoy was moving from this side to Kashmir, the highway was again blocked at around 7.15 pm at Mehar near Ramban bridge, where 4-laning work is in progress. The heavy machinery was pressed into the service under the supervision of DySP Traffic and the highway was again cleared for the Traffic at 9.15 pm. He disclosed that vehicles were allowed to move ahead for Srinagar.  He disclosed that movement of vehicle was in progress and 900 vehicles were reportedly cleared by late this evening.
Watali further disclosed that tomorrow one way convoy from Kashmir  to Jammu will  be allowed on the highway.  The up convoy from Jammu side has totally been restricted on Tuesday.
“Keeping in view the condition of the road, especially between Ramban -Ramsoo and Banihal to Qazigund coupled with narrow width of  road at certain places, only one way movement of traffic is feasible/advisable on Srinagar- Jammu NHW.  All the vehicles     will have to cross Jawahar Tunnel by 2 pm,” he maintained.
“No movement of traffic including that of convoys of Army, BSF, CRPF etc. shall be allowed from Jammu towards Srinagar side tomorrow under any circumstances to ensure hassle free movement of traffic”, Watali added.
He said the commuters are advised not  to  park vehicles at landslide/avalanche/vulnerable zones of  the highway, specially from Ramsoo- Jawahar Tunnel – Lower Munda under any circumstances.
A medium danger avalanche warning was issued today for some avalanche-prone slopes of Kashmir above 2,500 metres. The warning is in place for avalanche-prone slopes above 2,500 metres in Kupwara, Ganderbal and Kargil districts.
Meanwhile, scores of residents of  Sekkidafar in old Srinagar city today staged a protest against lack of dewatering in their area by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) in the aftermath of heavy snowfall and rains.
The Sekkidafar residents this morning came out of their houses and blocked main road, seeking dewatering of their area. The protesting residents said that they are facing huge difficulties in the wake of water logging caused by snow and rain.
They said hundreds of households residing in the area couldn’t move freely out of their houses and as a result their movement has been restricted.  The residents raised slogans against the Government and concerned authorities and sought immediate dewatering of their area. Due to blockade of the road, hundreds of the vehicles got stranded and resulted in traffic jam. .
The areas of Srinangar like, Hari Singh High Street, Magarmal Bagh, Residency Road, Polo-view, and Amira Kadal Sarai Bala are under water from last three days. The  residents of these areas are themselves trying to drain the water but found difficult due to inefficient drainage system.
The business and traffic movement continued suffer due to the water-logging at different areas in City centre. Residents from areas Hyderpora, Tangpora, Bemina, Jawahar Nagar, Natipora, Eidgah and several other places said that these areas are still underwater.
The water accumulation in colonies and roads at different areas of Srinagar City and the authorities claims seem to have fallen flat as the ground reality in the city is different from the promises made, as residents continue to be affected by the problem of water-logging.

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