2 die as JCB slips into gorge from snow-clad road, 2000 Jammu bound HMVs cleared

A JCB which fell into deep gorge from snow-clad road in Gandoh area of Doda. —Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary
A JCB which fell into deep gorge from snow-clad road in Gandoh area of Doda. —Excelsior/Rafi Choudhary

Mercury rises as MeT forecasts wet weather

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Jan 16: Two brothers were killed when a JCB slipped into a deep gorge from snow-clad road in Gandoh area of Doda district while amidst shooting stones and frequent brief disruptions at Mehar in Ramban sector, the authorities cleared over 2000 trucks stranded in Kashmir for the last more than five days towards Jammu and Delhi.
Official sources said that Mehar landslide zone in Ramban was still creating problem for the authorities. Frequent shooting stones continue to hamper smooth movement of one way traffic. About 200 mt patch was still single and it was creating long traffic jams. But amidst brief disruptions, the Traffic Police authorities cleared more than 2000 Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs), stranded in Qazigund and Khannabal areas for the last about 5-6 days towards Jammu and Delhi till this evening. He said, today only heavy vehicles from Kashmir towards Jammu were allowed to move.
Sources further said that due to accumulation of snow layer during morning hours in Chambalwas and Nachlana areas of Banihal sector, the authorities continued to impose restrictions specially in the movement of passenger vehicles for safety reasons. Due to heavy snow in Jawahar Tunnel area, the authorities have diverted entire traffic to new Banihal-Qazigund tunnel, except fuel tankers.
Reports from Doda said that two brothers including a teenager were killed while another person was seriously injured after a JCB skidded off the snow clad road and fell into a deep gorge in Shalala area of Gandoh in Doda district last late night.
Police said the accident took place at around 11.30 pm when the brothers, aged between 19 to 22 years, were coming from Bharti area and heading towards Bhatyas on Thathri-Kilhotran road.
“According to preliminary investigation, the speeding JCB machine bearing registration number JK17-7162, driven by operator Mushtaq Ahmed, when reached near workshop Shahlala, met with an accident and the JCB rolled down about 100 feet from the frozen road, resulting into the death of operator on the spot,” SSP Doda Abdul Qyoom said.
“With the help of locals, Police shifted injured and the deceased operator to Gandoh Hospital, where the younger brother of the operator also succumbed to his injuries whereas, their third accomplice was shifted to GMCH Doda,” the SSP added.
Their bodies were sent to Government Hospital Gandoh for post-mortem while the seriously injured was undergoing treatment in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Doda.
The deceased brothers have been identified as Mushtaq Ahmed (22) and Ishtiaq Ahmed (19), both sons of Atta Mohd Sheikh of village Manoie-Bhatyas of Tehsil Chilli-Pingal. The injured Fareed Ahmed, son of Alaf Din of Bagla-Bharat in Doda was struggling for life.
The police have registered an FIR No. 02/2022 at Police Station, Gandoh in this connection.
Reports from Srinagar said that Kashmir braced up for light rains and snowfall till January 19, night temperatures increased even as it stayed below freezing point with Srinagar recording a low of minus 1.2 degree Celsius today.
A Meteorological Department official said that the minimum temperature in Srinagar was up by more than three degrees Celsius than previous night’s minus 4.5 degree Celsius.
Kashmir is presently under the grip of 40-day long harshest period of winter, known locally as ‘Chillai Kalan, which started from December 21. It is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla Bachha’.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 7.0 degree Celsius against minus 9.5 degree Celsius the previous night. The temperature was 0.7 degree Celsius above normal for this time of the year.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 5.4 degree Celsius against minus 11.4 degree Celsius last night. Qazigund recorded a low of minus 3.4 degree Celsius against minus 7.6 degree Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag recorded a low of minus 4.5 degree Celsius against minus 7.2 degree Celsius the previous night while Kupwara recorded a minimum of minus 2.1 degree Celsius against minus 5.0 degree Celsius the previous night.
Due to foggy weather conditions in Jammu area, there has been sharp fall in temperature. The day as well as night temperature has witnessed sharp fall during past couple of days in the region. The day temperature in Jammu was nearly 12.7 deg C which is about 6 degree C below normal.
Leh recorded a low of minus 15.2 degree Celsius against last night’s minus 16.8 degree Celsius while mercury at Kargil settled at minus 18.6 degree Celsius.
Drass recorded a low of minus 27.6 degree Celsius against last night’s minus 17.4 degree Celsius.
Weatherman has said that there was no forecast of any major rain or snow till the end of January in J&K.
“Under the influence of feeble Western Disturbance, weather is most likely to remain generally cloudy with possibility of very light to light rain/snow in plains of J&K during 16-19th and light to moderate snowfall over higher reaches,” an official of the MeT department.
“As of today, there’s no forecast of any major rain/snow till ending January”, it said.