Srinagar-Jammu highway closed for third day

Heavy snowfall continued to disrupt life for the third day on Saturday, a day after two Army troopers died of asphyxiation in their bunker near the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowgam sector in the valley.

“Over four feet snow accumulated on the highway in Bannihal and Patnitop sectors of the Srinagar-Jammu highway which remains closed for vehicular traffic for the third day today,” traffic officials said in the state’s summer capital Srinagar.

Officials of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) said they had moved out men and machinery to reopen the highway and work was on in full swing to clear the highway.

“Heavy snowfall in Bannihal and fierce winds in Shaitan Nallah area of the highway are impeding the road clearance operation,” a BRO official said.

All essential supplies are routed to the valley through the over 300-km highway that is the only land connection of the valley with the rest of the world.

Electric supply remained disrupted in Srinagar and other parts of the valley as the locals blamed the power development department (PDD) for its lack of preparedness to face the crisis.

The landlocked valley remained cut off from the rest of the country Friday as all incoming flights were cancelled because of poor visibility and snowfall.

Sonam Lotus, director of the local weather office, said on Saturday that the western disturbance that caused heavy snowfall in the valley has now moved out and the weather would start improving from Saturday.

“The main weather activity that caused the heavy snowfall in the valley has now moved out. The weather has started improving,” Lotus said.

“Although it would remain cloudy over the next 24 hours, there would be no rain/snowfall during this period”, Lotus said.

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