Traffic suspended on NH after landslides, Katra heli service hit

A cycle-trolley puller moves on Jammu road amidst heavy rain on Sunday morning. — Excelsior/Rakesh
A cycle-trolley puller moves on Jammu road amidst heavy rain on Sunday morning. — Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 4: Traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was suspended for over six hours after landslides in Ramban area due to heavy rain while helicopter service to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine from base camp Katra remained stalled due to bad weather today.
Due to heavy rain in many parts of Jammu region during morning hours today, a sharp fall in the temperature has been witnessed. The people had a sigh of relief from the hot and humid weather conditions after rains.

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Official sources said that landslides and shooting of stones from hillocks overlooking the strategic highway at Cafeteria Morh and Mehar near Ramban forced the suspension of vehicular traffic on the busy highway. The fresh landslides at three places were triggered by the heavy rains overnight.
The highway was blocked at around 7.30 am at Mehar and Cafeteria. It was cleared for one way traffic at around 12.30 pm but it was again blocked after some time. The road was cleared around 2 pm and then traffic was restored but brief disruption continued till late this evening.
A senior traffic police officer said that no fresh movement of vehicles was allowed from Srinagar or Jammu side during morning hours. All the stranded vehicles were cleared and then the movement of other vehicles was allowed from Udhampur side.
Meanwhile, Jammu city and other parts of the region received heavy rain overnight, rendering many roads waterlogged and commuters incapacitated.
Jammu recorded 95.7 mm, Udhampur 92.6 mm and Kathua 42.0 mm of rainfall over the past 24 hours ending 8.30 am Sunday, a Met official said.
He further disclosed that Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, witnessed 14 mm of rainfall till 8.30 am this morning.
The chopper service to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine from Katra base camp also remained suspended today in view of bad weather.
Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 31.1 degree Celsius and minimum 21.4 deg C, Katra a maximum temperature of 27.0 deg and minimum 20.2 deg C, Bhaderwah town a maximum temperature of 23.1 deg C and minimum 17.8 deg C while Batote had maximum 22.6 degree and minimum temperature of 17.6 degree Celsius, he added.
The weather office has forecast more rainfall at many places across the Union Territory in the next 48 hours with possibility of heavy showers at a few places in the Jammu region.