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Fresh landslide blocks Jammu-Srinagar highway for sixth day

Passengers held up at Jammu bus stand area due to closure of highway staged protest urging authorities to provide relief.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2019 19:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Jammu-Srinagar highway,landslide,Closed
Stranded passengers prepare a meal on a pavement after Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed due to heavy snowfall in Jammu. (PTI)

The Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the sixth consecutive day on Friday as fresh snowfall and landslides hampered efforts of the authorities to clear the road for vehicular movement.

Around 2,000 Kashmir-bound vehicles were stranded at different locations on the highway due to the blockade.

The Banihal sector, including the area around Jawahar tunnel on the national highway, which connects the Valley to Jammu, received fresh spell of snow on Friday morning, while Ramban area received heavy rainfall till late afternoon.

The highway was closed late on Sunday evening after it was blocked due to accumulation of snow at Nowgam-Jawahar Tunnel-Qazigund sector and multiple landslides between Ramban and Banihal sections of the highway.

A portion of the highway has caved in Ramsoo area at Gangroo, around where a major landslide in 200m area blocked the highway.

Men and material of Hindustan Constriction Company (HCC), engaged in the four lane work of Ramban-Banihal sections of the highway, were pressed into service to remove the debris. However, fresh landslides in the area hampered their work.

Deputy commissioner (Ramban), Showkat Aijaz Bhat along with traffic officials visited the affected stretch on Friday afternoon to review the progress of highway clearance work.

“We urge people not to venture in the area which is a landslide zone. Frequent shooting stones and landslides can be fatal for commuters and they must not cross the area until it gets stabilised,” the DC said.

Two persons including a traffic cop were injured at Battery Chashma on Friday while they were crossing the area on foot.

“No vehicular movement was allowed on the highway on Friday. The area between Panthyal and Maroog has become very dangerous as stones and heavy boulders are falling frequently. Landslides at Gangroo and Anokhi Fall has created major blockades. We are trying to clear the Gangroo slide. However, the work to remove debris from Anokhi Fall area can resume only on Saturday morning,” said Suresh Sharma, deputy superintendent of police (traffic), Ramban.

“ As and when the road is cleared of debris, the top most priority will be to clear the stranded vehicles,” he added.

Meanwhile, passengers held up at Jammu bus stand area due to closure of highway staged protest urging authorities to provide relief.

“It has been almost a week since we are stuck. We have run out of cash and local administration has not bothered to send any kind of aid. Arrangements must be made to airlift us,” the protesters said.

First Published: Jan 25, 2019 19:09 IST