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Jammu-Srinagar highway closed c after landslides as rains, snow


JAMMU: Heavy rainfall triggered multiple


, mudslides and shooting stones at many places in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir early Saturday, forcing the authorities to suspend traffic on Jammu-Srinagar national highway and order closure of schools.
The only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country was blocked at over half-a-dozen places between Nashri and Banihal, officials said, adding that NHAI had mobilised men and machines to clear the road, but the inclement weather was hampering the work.

About 250 light motor vehicles were stuck at Jakheni while some 1,200 heavy vehicles were stranded on the NH at Udhampur, Kud, Mansar, Majalta and other places.
Traffic on the highway has been restricted to one-way since Feb 26 and was being used alternatively from Jammu and Srinagar after heavy rains and snowfall damaged the arterial road at several places last week.
While rains lashed the plains, the upper reaches of J&K received fresh snowfall Saturday. Gurez, Kupwara, Baltal, and the resort towns of Gulmarg and Sonamarg witnessed moderate to heavy


. Some areas in the higher reaches are expected to see heavy to very heavy snowfall.

With the meteorological department declaring ‘orange alert’ and predicting rains on Sunday, too, Ramban SSP, national highway (traffic), Rohit Baskotra SSP appealed to commuters not to undertake journeys on the highway till the weather improved.
Ramban deputy commissioner Baseer-ul-Haq Chaudhary asked the people of hilly districts to take precautions and avoid venturing out in avalanche prone areas, citing a Disaster Management Authority advisory that an avalanche with medium danger level was likely to occur above 2,500 metres over Baramulla, Doda, Poonch, Ramban and Reasi in the next 24 hours.
(With agency inputs)

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