Dozens of far flung, remote villages remain cut off Traffic disrupted on Sgr-Jmu highway

Srinagar, Mar 6: Dozens of far flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) remained cut off from their respective district and tehsil headquarters for the 5th day on Tuesday following closure of Sadhna top, Z-Gali and Phirkiyan pass due to accumulation of snow and threat of avalanches.
Meanwhile, the Razdan pass, connecting Gurez and other border areas with district headquarter Bandipora remained closed due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions since January. The national highway, connecting Ladakh with Kashmir and historic Mughal road also remained closed since December last year.
Traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was disrupted on Tuesday morning due to landslides. However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) responsible for the maintenance of the highway immediately put into service sophisticated machine and men and later put through the highway for one-way traffic. Today traffic will ply from Jammu to Srinagar and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction, a traffic police said.
“Traffic remained suspended on Sadhna pass, Z Gali and Phirkiyan for the ffith day on Tuesday due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions,” a Police Control Room (PCR) official said over phone from Kupwara. A driver of BRO was killed and two others were injured in a snow avalanche at Phirkiyan on Sunday afternoon when road clearance operation was in progress, he said adding there is also a threat of avalanche at several places.
However, he said, the snow clearance operation has already been started to put through these passes for traffic again. Traffic will be resumed once a green signal is received from the officials posted at different places, he said adding weather has also improved.
Dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including those near LoC, besides border town of Karnah, Keran, Machil and Tangdhar, were cut off from Kupwara because of closure of these passes, he said, adding there is two to three feet of snow had accumulated on these passes.
This winter, including during 40-day-long Chilai Kalan, the severest chily period, these passes remained open for most period as there was very less snowfall as compared to previous years, when these roads used to close for six months, he said.
This time, he said, roads to border towns of Keran, Karnah, Machil and Tangdhar also remained open during most period of the winter months, due to less snowfall. However, 11 persons, including an officer of the BRO, were killed in snow avalanches at Sadhna top in January this year.
Meanwhile, traffic on road connecting border areas, including Gurez and Neeru, with district headquarter Bandipora remained suspended since December last year due to accumulation of several feet of snow at Razdan top besides slippery condition.