Roads to far flung areas remain shut

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Stranded passengers protest, demand helicopter service

Srinagar, Jan 16: Passengers stranded due closure of dozens of roads for the seventh day on Wednesday to far flung and remote areas, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) due to accumulation of snow protested at Kupwara demanding helicopter service on concessional rates.
Meanwhile, the border town of Gurez, surrounded by Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) from three sides, and dozens of other villages remained cut off from their district headquarter Bandipora due to over three feet of snow accumulated at Razdan pass.
Dozens of far-flung and remote areas, including Machil, Keran, Karnah and other villages near the LoC, remained cut off from their district headquarters Kupwara in north Kashmir for the 7th successive days on Wednesday due to accumulation of snow.
Passengers stranded protested at Kupwara against the Beacon and district administration demanding immediate clearance of snow. The snow clearance operation was very slow and there is prediction of fresh snowfall from today, the passengers of Karnah said. They alleged that some top officers of Beacon have directed their field staff to go slow due to which road to Karnah could not be reopened despite less snow as compared to Keran and Tangdhar. Over 150 residents of Karnah are stranded at Kupwara who have now no money to stay in hotels, alleged Abdul Rashid. Some of them are now staying in mosques while others have borrowed money.
We demand immediate reopening of the road besides concessional helicopter service during the winter, he said.
Meanwhile, authorities said though snow clearance operations has already been started but there are very less chances for early reopening of most of the roads due to accumulation of several feet of snow, Tthere is also forecast for fresh snowfall from today for next three days besides avalanche warning.
“Roads to border towns of Machil, Keran, Karnah and Tangdhar remained closed since Thursday night, following heavy snowfall,” a Police Control Room (PCR) official told UNI over the phone from Kupwara.
Similarly, he said dozens of other far-flung and remote villages too remained cut off from their tehsil and district headquarters after closure of Sadhna top, Z-Gali, Phirkiyan and other passes due to moderate to heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile, the border town of Gurez besides Neeru and dozens of other villages also remained cut off from district headquarters Bandipora since Friday evening due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions. There is also forecast for fresh snowfall this week.
He said it is highly unlikely that the road will again be put through for traffic during winter months. “Huge snow has accumulated on the road, particularly at Razdan pass and the clearance operation has become very tough as the snow has become very hard due to mercury dropping several degrees below freezing point,” he said.