Valley remains cut off from Jammu as rains, snowfall disrupt normal life in J&K

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Yatra to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine suspended from Saturday 9 pm to Sunday 6 am in view of slippery conditions on the track

BUNTY MAHAJAN

JAMMU, JANUARY 8: The surface link to Kashmir remained snapped for the fourth day on Saturday as all the roads connecting Jammu division with the Valley remained closed for vehicular traffic due to heavy snowfall.

Sources said that vehicular traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, which was resumed on Friday after having remained closed for two day, was suspended again after a few hours the same evening following heavy snowfall and landslides at various places between Ramban and Banihal.

The two other highways – Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthan Top connecting Jammu’s Kishtwar district with Anantnag and the Mughal Road connecting Jammu’s Poonch district with Shopian, too were closed following accumulation of heavy snow at both places.

While Jammu-Srinagar national highway will remain closed on Sunday too, according to Traffic Police officials, sources said that Sinthan Top and Mughal Road will now reopen in March-April as there was 6-7 ft snow at both the places.

The train service between Banihal and Kashmir Valley too was suspended following snowfall. There was no likelihood of its resuming operation on Sunday as well.

Meanwhile, a mother along with her daughter got buried under snow after an avalanche hit Behramgala on the Mughal Road. They were, however, rescued by police and locals who immediately swung into action.

At Bhimber Gali on the Rajouri-Poonch highway, after an ambulance carrying the body of a local got stuck in snow, cops from Mendhar police station carried the coffin on their shoulders to his home at village Salwah. The deceased had died in Saudi Arabia and the ambulance was bring his body home from Delhi.

The yatra to the holy shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi was stopped at 9 pm on Saturday in view of heavy snowfall resulting in slippery condition of the yatra track. The pilgrimage will now be resumed on Sunday 6 am, sources said, adding that nearly 14,000 pilgrims had left Katra town for darshan at the shrine during the day.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall and rains disrupted normal life out of gear across Jammu division, with police men helping motorists move ahead by pushing their vehicles stuck in snow at Banihal.

The power supply in almost entire Chenab Valley region comprising Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban district remained disrupted since morning. Ramban Deputy Commissioner Mussarat Islam in a tweet said that of the feeders supplying power across the district, only ten were running smoothly. The remaining 35 feeders were off due to faults on 11 KV and 33 KV lines, he added while appealing people to bear with the administration.