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Second Amarnath route also closed

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar | July 08, 2005 11:02 IST

Authorities in Srinagar had to halt the passage of the pilgrims bound for Amarnath via the north Kashmir Baltal route due to continuing rains and mild snow at some places on the 14-kilometre trek from Baltal to the Holy Cave.

Pilgrimage to the Cave Shrine has been on from only the Baltal route so far since the traditional south Kashmir Pahalgam route is yet to be thrown open as snow clearing operations on the route are still on.

"There has been mild snowfall and continuous rains all along the 14-kilometre uphill trek from Baltal to the Cave Shrine.

The passage of pilgrims from Baltal onwards has, therefore, been halted," a spokesman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said.

The Jammu-Srinagar highway, which the devotees use to reach the base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam remained closed for the second day following landslides at a number of places on the highway.

Traffic authorities said there would be no traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Friday.

"The snowfall at the 14,000-feet Mahagunus is likely to impede our snow clearance operations on the Pahalgam-Amarnath route, which we planned to open for the pilgrims on July 9, 2005," said a senior police officer.

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