Snow cleared for passage of over 500 people struck on Manali-Leh road
STATE TIMES NEWS
Banihal/Jammu: The traffic on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway was suspended on Saturday after heavy rains triggered landslides at a few places in Ramban district, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded, officials said.A Jammu-bound truck was also hit by stones rolling down a hillock overlooking the highway near Panthiyal but the driver and his helper escaped unhurt, they said. The officials said the traffic on the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu and progressed smoothly till 3.30 pm despite incessant rains all along the highway.
Srinagar: The famous ski resort of Gulmarg and some other areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir received light snow, while plains were lashed by rains on Saturday, officials said.Gulmarg resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, received light intermittent snowfall on Saturday, the officials said. They said there were reports of fresh snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the valley and Ladakh region during the last 24 hours.The plains of the valley, including the summer capital Srinagar, were lashed by rains which continued for most part of the day, they said.Owing to the snowfall and rains, the maximum temperature settled several degrees below the normal for this part of the season, the officials said.The Meteorological (MeT) office has forecast widespread light to moderate rains in the valley till Sunday.It said there is a possibility of some improvement in the weather on Monday.
However, landslides at various places, including Panthiyal, Cafeteria Morh and Digdole, forced suspension of the traffic, they said, adding that several hundred vehicles were left stranded on the highway in Ramban district and efforts are on to clear them.“No vehicular movement shall be allowed from either side on the highway tomorrow (Sunday) in view of inclement weather/landslides at several places and continuous raining on the arterial road,” a spokesperson of the traffic department said.He said the road clearance agencies have deployed their men and machines at the blocked spots and are making efforts to ensure early restoration of traffic on the highway.The stranded vehicles would be allowed to move towards their destinations once the road is made traffic-worthy, the spokesperson said.Meanwhile, rescue teams have cleared snow on the Manali-Leh road in Himachal’s Lahaul-Spiti for a safe passage of over 500 people stuck there since April 4, state police said.A joint rescue operation by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Lahaul-Spiti administration and police started on Friday to ensure a safe passage for 536 passengers on 117 vehicles, they said.The entire operation lasted over 14 hours and ended around midnight.Meanwhile, 41 passengers stranded at Killingsarai and Baralacha due to a snowstorm on Friday night were also brought to Darcha in Lahaul, police said.
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