Hilly areas receive snowfall, plains witness rains
*One killed, another injured in Bhaderwah accident
JAMMU, Feb 26: The strategic Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the second straight day today following a major landslide triggered by incessant rains in Ramban district, officials said. However, Batote-Doda-Kishtwar highway remained open for vehicular movement.
The 270-km highway–the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country which was blocked near Mompassi in Ramsu area yesterday afternoon, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded remained closed today also for the consecutive second day, the officials said, that the road near main bazaar of district Ramban also sunk.
Officials said the agency concerned has pressed its men and machinery to clear the road of the landslide debris but continuous shooting of stones are hampering the clearance operation, adding that hundreds of vehicles were left stranded at various places after the closure of the highway.
A large number of stranded passengers bypassed the landslide hit area by crossing a stream by foot to reach their destinations, officials said, adding that accommodation at various passenger sheds in Banihal have been provided to the hundreds of stranded passengers.
They said the vehicles, which were stranded in vulnerable areas were taken to safer places to avoid any untoward incident, adding that the decision to open the highway will be taken tomorrow after assessing the weather and road condition.
As per reports, hilly areas of Jammu region received fresh snowfall, while plain areas witnessed light rainfall. Bhaderwah and its peripheral areas received fresh snowfall, which further intensified cold wave conditions, officials said adding that the Kishtwar town and other high altitude areas of this district also experienced fresh spell of light snowfall today.
People were again forced to protect themselves from the bone chilling cold. People were seen using traditional Bhukharies (Fire places) and Kangris (Firepots) to protect themselves in the severe cold climate.
The historic Mughal Road also remained continuously closed due to snow accumulation, officials informed.
When contacted, Sonam Lotus, Director, Meteorology Department (MeT) told the EXCELSIOR that hilly areas of the Jammu region received light snowfall, whereas plain areas witnessed light rainfall, adding that there will be improvement in the weather from tomorrow. He further informed that a spell of rain is likely during 3rd and 4th March.
Meanwhile, one person was killed while one another was injured when the Swift Dzire car (JK06A-4043) they were traveling in skidded off the road due to slippery conditions and plunged into gorge near Dranga area, falling under the jurisdiction of Bhaderwah Police Station.
After getting information, police team rushed to the spot and shifted the injured person to SDH Bhaderwah from where he was later referred to District Hospital Doda.
The deceased has been identified as Vijay Kumar (Rural Development Department employee), son of Jia lal of Wasik Dera Tehsil Bhaderwah, District Doda, while the injured has been identified as Aadil, son of Najeeb of Chaka Tehsil Bhaderwah, District Doda.