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Kashmir Valley cut off from rest of the country
December 13, 2007 15:17 IST
The Kashmir Valley remained cut off from rest of the country for the third consecutive day on Thursday as the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was shut for vehicular traffic following snowfall in high altitude areas.
However, air traffic to and from the city remained unaffected, airport sources said.
The 300-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the country, remains closed for traffic, a spokesman of traffic department said.
He said no vehicle was allowed either from Srinagar [Images] or Jammu on the highway in view of heavy snowfall around Jawahar tunnel -- the gateway to Kashmir.
Traffic on the arterial road was suspended on Tuesday in view of heavy accumulation of snow on the road at several places, including Banihal.
According to the Met office, 53.8 mm of snowfall equivalent to rains was recorded at Banihal while Qazigund and Batote experienced heavy snowfall of 45.2 mm and 40.0 mm respectively by 0830 hours on Thursday.
Srinagar recorded 5.2 mm of rains while famous the hill resorts of Pahalgam and Kokernag received 15.8 mm and 29.0 mm of snowfall equivalent to rains in the same period.
Meanwhile, some 3,000 people going from Jammu to Srinagar were stranded on the highway due to the snowfall, officials said.
About 900 passengers going in 175 buses were stranded at Banihal and Ramban. Besides, 2000 drivers and conductors could not cross the road as their vehicles were held up at different points on the road from Nagrota to Banihal, they said.
Efforts were on to clear the highway and ensure that stranded passengers reach their respective destinations, the officials said, adding snow has already been cleared on the highway at Patnitop and vehicles have been allowed to move towards Doda and Kishtwar areas.
The Border Roads Organisation has pressed its men and machinery to clear snow from the highway. The District Development Commissioner of Anantnag, G A Peer, held a meeting with the officials to review the situation in the district.
The authorities have been asked to make adequate arrangement of food, medicare, shelter and transportation for the stranded passengers at Qazigund, Lowser Munda, Lewdoora, Vaishnu and Badragund stations, they said.