Fresh snow hampers operation; dozens of remote areas remain cut off in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 22: Fresh moderate to heavy snowfall during the last about 48 hours has badly affected snow clearance operation on Sadhna top, Z-Gali, Phirkiyan pass and other passes — connecting dozens of far-flung and remote areas, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), which remained cutoff from rest of the valley from about two weeks.
“Roads to Machil, Keran and Tangdhar remained closed for the past 13 days following heavy snowfall. The snow clearance operation which was initiated to reconnect these areas with their respective districts and tehsil headquarters in north Kashmir were badly affected due to fresh snowfall during the last about 48 hours,” a Police Control Room (PCR) official told UNI over the phone from Kupwara.
He said traffic on Kupwara-Karnah road also remained suspended since Saturday following fresh snowfall.
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 pass and other passes due to moderate to heavy snowfall. “Efforts are being made to clear the snow and restore traffic on these roads,” he said.
However, he said fresh about a foot to two feet snow has accumulated on these passes during the last 48 hours. “Bad weather and fresh snow has badly affected the snow clearance operation in these areas,” he added.
Meanwhile, the border town of Gurez, surrounded by Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) from three sides, besides Neeru and dozens of other villages also remained cut off from district headquarters Bandipora since January 11 due to accumulation of snow and fresh snowfall during the last 48 hours.
A PCR official said over the phone from Bandipora that 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 the mercury dropping several degrees below freezing point,” he said.