Heavy snowfall in Jammu & Kashmir blocks key Mughal Road, 120 rescued
Over 120 persons, mostly truckers, were rescued from Peer Ki Gali along the Mughal Road, which recorded the season’s first heavy snowfall over the past couple of days, a senior traffic police officer said on Saturday.
Some of the rescued people, including an aged woman, were sick and shifted to hospital, but none of them is serious, Deputy Superintendent of Police, traffic, Mohammad Rafiq told PTI. Over three feet of snow had accumulated in the high altitude Peer Ki Gali stretch of the road, connecting the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu with south Kashmir Shopian.
“A joint rescue operation was launched last evening after it was reported that over 70 vehicles, mostly trucks, were left stranded on both sides due to the heavy snowfall and subsequently over 120 persons were rescued and shifted safely to Surankote,” Rafiq, who led the rescue operation, said.
The officer said a 60-year-old woman, who had fallen sick, was shifted to Shopian along with two of her sons and a seven-year-old grandson. The rescue operation continued till 3 am on Saturday and the rescued people, mostly truckers and their helpers, were initially brought to an Army camp at Pasana, where they were provided food. Some of them were sick and accordingly shifted to a hospital for treatment, he said.
He said snowfall was continuing in Peer Ki Gali and once there is improvement in the weather, a snow clearance operation would be launched. The Mughal Road usually remains closed for winter owing to heavy snowfall in Peer Ki Gali area. Meanwhile, the traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway — the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country – remained suspended for several hours due to multiple landslides in Ramban district on Saturday morning.
Overnight rains triggered the landslides at several places between Digdoll and Ramsoo blocking the highway, an official of the Traffic Department said. However, he said the road clearance operation was launched immediately and the highway was made traffic worthy around 9.30 am, he said, adding that only Jammu-bound passenger vehicles were allowed to move on the highway due to traffic restrictions.
The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from Jammu and Srinagar since early last month to facilitate smooth movement of vehicles. Director State Meteorological department, Sonam Lotus, forecast dry weather for two to three weeks from November 5. He said the inclement weather is likely to persist till the next 24 hours before significant improvement from tomorrow. Moderate to heavy snow was reported on higher reaches over the past couple of days, he said.