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Heavy snowfall throws life out of gear in Valley, one killed

Heavy snowfall and rains in Kashmir have led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Written by Adil Akhzer | Srinagar | Updated: March 16, 2015 9:03:40 pm
dfsfgs Heavy snowfall in Kashmir has led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. (Source: Express photo)

As heavy snowfall and rains lashed most parts of Kashmir, a four-year old girl was killed in a landslide triggered by snowfall in South Kashmir’s Awantipora on Sunday evening. A police official said that the girl was killed when she was buried under a landslide at Sunergund in Awantipora area of south Kashmir, Pulwama district last evening.

The heavy snowfall also led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, even as air traffic remained suspended. While incessant rains lashed most parts of the Valley yesterday, moderate to heavy snowfall was reported since wee hours this morning.

A traffic department official said the 300-km Srinagar-Jammu Highway has been closed for vehicular movement, following landslides at several places due to the heavy downpour in the Valley and along the Pir Panjal mountain range.

Officials said that hundreds of vehicles got stranded on the national highway and efforts are on to open the highway. SP National Highway Sanjay Kotwal told The Indian Express that around 1600-1700 vehicles were stranded on the highway due to ‘a number of landslides’.

“Yesterday, when the road was opened for some time, we managed to clear more than 3,000 stranded vehicles, today there are around 1,500 stranded vehicles at one stretch and there might be 500 more at other places on the highway,” said Kotwal. He also said that the officials were making arrangements to provide food items to the stranded people.

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A senior police official said that three sitting legislators who were on their way to Jammu also got stranded due the landslides. “They were brought to guest house in Kud town,” he said.

However, locals complained that the administration had failed to restore electricity and water logging in the area. “Just few inches of snow and the administration seems to be in slumber,’’ said Sabzar Ahmad, a resident of old city. “The snowfall has exposed the good governance as water logging could be seen everywhere,’’ he said.

A weather department spokesman said, Srinagar had received 16.0 mm of snow and rainfall, Pahalgam received 11.5 cms, Kupwara: 7.5 mm, Qazigund: 5 cms. The tourist destination Gulmarg received 7 inch of snow till 8.30am on Monday.

Director of Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said that the weather would improve from Tuesday. “We are expecting a change in weather from tomorrow,” he said.

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