Couple among 4 killed, NH blocked, restored; many roads closed

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Aug 13: Traffic on Jammu Srinagar National Highway remained suspended for more than eight hours after land-slides in Udhampur and Ramban while  heavy rain created havoc in many localities  of Jammu city  and other adjoining areas whereas, rain and floods claimed four lives in the region today. Click here to watch video
Flooded Chenab, Tawi and Basantar rivers were flowing near alert mark while many seasonal nallahs wreaked havoc in Jammu city and other areas due to flash flood, causing extensive damage to the houses, shops and other structures besides public property.  The traffic on many rural roads in Jammu, Samba, Purmandal, Akhnoor, Khour, Keran,  Bhalwal and Amb Gharota area was disrupted during morning hours due to flash flood in seasonal nallahs.
Power  and water supply to most parts of  Jammu city and other rural areas was affected  badly since last evening while water and mud entered many houses and shops in Old Janipur, Excelsior Lane ( Janipur), Bhawani Nagar, Naseeb Nagar, Shant Nagar, Paloura, Lower Roop Nagar, Muthi and several  other areas. Many lanes in north west part of Jammu city suffered extensive damage due to flood in  nallahs.  The land/ mudslides on Circular Road, Sidhra Road  and Ram Nagar Morhs of Manda area were also reported during morning hours which were later cleared by the authorities.
The chopper service at Katra Mata Vaishnodevi operated hardly for an hour today, but for rest of the day,  it remained suspended due to bad weather and rains. The Himkoti Yatra Marg has also been closed by the Shrine Board authorities after shooting stones for the last two days.
A senior Traffic Police official told the Excelsior that  due to heavy rain and landslides at Jakheni and Kheri near Udhampur and at least at three places near Ramban (Seri and Kela Morh) during early hours, the traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained suspended for about eight hours today.  While the road near Udhampur was cleared at around 11 am but the highway near Ramban was made trafficable at around 1 pm. Many Yatra vehicles also remained stranded on  the highway. The yatra from Jammu side remained suspended today.  Reports of massive traffic jams in Ramban, Chanderkot, Peerah and Chenani areas have been received.
A report from Poonch said that a villager-Marid Hussain (55) and his wife, Najma (50), resident of Chatti Batti near Faizlabad in Surankote were killed after live wires fell on them. As a tree fell down near their house during heavy rain, they ran to see what has happened outside. They were trapped in the live electric cables as tree hit them badly and they were killed on the spot.
In yet another incident  in Loran area of  Mandi, a 29-year-old Javed Iqbal, son of Abdul Salam, resident of Thana Ban was washed away in a  flooded Nallah today. His dead body was later recovered from 3 kms down stream near Gorian Ban, the police said.
Another report from  Udhampur said that 22-year-old, Dimple, daughter of one Balwant Singh, resident of Shiv Nagar, Udhampur was  killed on the spot   after a wall of her house collapsed and fell on her during wee hours today. It was raining heavily in the area  and the wall collapsed  due  to its impact. The girl was sleeping. Later, her body was removed from the debris by the neighbours and family members.
Reports said that Udhampur-Gordi-Barmeen- Ramnagar Road has been blocked  at several places.  Chenani-Latti-Dudu road which also remained blocked near Bup Sarar, was  restored after some time.
Reasi-Mahore road was  blocked near Malai Nallah during morning but later it was cleared by the GREF authorities. Mahore- Gool and Mahore-Chassana-Budhal roads were still blocked since last night.
A  Flood Control official said that Chenab river near Akhnoor was flowing near alert  mark of 33 ft during morning hours  but later the water level started receding. 35 ft is the danger mark while water level touched around 32 ft today. Tawi river at Jammu was also flowing near alert mark (14 ft) this morning. 17 ft is the danger mark for river Tawi. This was the highest flood in these two rivers of this season so far. The district authorities had sounded red alert in all the low lying areas of Akhnoor, Jourian,  Pargwal, Khour and Marh areas. No loss of human life has been reported from this area today.
Reports said that due to rain and flood in many parts of Jammu city, the power and water supply especially in Janipur,  Shant Nagar, Naseeb Nagar, Bhawani Nagar, Lakkar Mandi, Indira Colony, Janipur Colony, Pamposh Colony, Paloura, Patoli, Roopnagar and Muthi areas remained snapped today. The power could not be restored in several areas  even by this afternoon. No alternate water supply was provided to the general public.
Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, SDM North  Alyas Khan besides other officers paid visits to many localities of Jammu city and rural belt and took stock of situation. MLA Jammu West, Sat Sharma had to face the public protests at Old Janipur during his visit in the morning.  There was huge anger among public against the MLA and the agencies which failed to execute works properly and ensure cleanliness of the drains and deep drains before rainy season.  Several roads and lanes were restored by the PWD and other agencies by this evening  while work in other areas was still going on. The power supply was also being restored on war footing in the city north localities, the SDM North said.