Highways re-opened after brief closure

Flood fears in Chenab Valley as water bodies swell

SHABIR IBN YUSUF/ BIVEK MATHUR
Srinagar/Jammu, Publish Date: Sep 24 2018 12:51AM | Updated Date: Sep 24 2018 12:51AM
Highways re-opened after brief closureGK Photo

Moderate to heavy rains lashed several parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, leading to temporary closure of the Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh highways, even as the meteorological department predicted more precipitation in next 24 hours. The highways were however re-opened in the evening, according to officials. 

A meteorological department official told Greater Kashmir that most parts of Kashmir and Jammu regions received rains and light snowfall since Saturday evening. Srinagar recorded 1.4 mm, Jammu 88.8 mm and Leh 15.2 mm rainfall in the last 12 hours, he said, adding that they expect more rains in next 24 hours.

He said that several high-altitude areas received light snowfall, the season’s second, in the early hours of Sunday. 

Superintendent of police (traffic-rural), Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, said that the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which was closed following shooting stones and landslides in several Ramban areas, was re-opened in the evening.  “The traffic on the highway is now plying normally,” he said.

He said that incidents of shooting stones from hillocks were reported from Pantihal area in Ramban, leading to temporary closure of the thoroughfare, which left hundreds of commuters stranded for several hours. 

“The stranded commuters have moved towards their destinations after the road was thrown open,” Shah said.

Traffic on the highway was restricted to one-way (from Jammu to Srinagar) on Sunday morning as a “precautionary measure” after the meteorological department Saturday forecast adverse weather conditions in the state for 48 hours.

The Srinagar-Leh highway, which was closed on Saturday night, was been re-opened on Sunday. 

“The road was closed after rains and light snowfall in Sonamarg, Drass and some other areas. It is open now. The stranded vehicles have also been cleared,” Shah told Greater Kashmir.  

Meanwhile, the upper reaches of Bhaderwah, Kishtwar and Doda received fresh snowfall on Sunday, while rains lashed the plains of Jammu since Saturday morning. The Batote-Kishtwar highway was also closed for vehicular movement for some time following incidents of shooting stones at several places, but was again thrown open, according to an official.  

A weather department official said that Jammu district recorded 88.8 mm rainfall till 08.30 hours and the night temperature fell in the city by almost five degrees to settle at 18.9 degrees Celsius, 4.5 degrees below normal. Similarly, the maximum temperature recorded, there, on Saturday was 27 degrees Celsius, 6.3 degrees below the normal, he said. 

 

FLOOD FEARS IN CHENAB VALLEY AREAS 

Meanwhile, incessant rains for the past two days have led to flood fears across the Chenab Valley region, with authorities ordering closure of all educational institutions in Doda on Monday “as a precautionary measure.”

In the past 24 hours, an official said 100 mm rainfall was recorded at Bhadarwah, Doda, Kishtwar and Bhalessa areas, while Banihal, Ramban and Batote recorded 80 mm rainfall during this period.

The continuous rains led to swelling of Neeruriver and Hail nallah in Bhadarwah, while flashfloods were reported from different rivulets and nallahs in Bhalessa, Doda, Dessa and Marmat areas, the official said.

The local administration has asked people to prefer remaining indoors and not venture near water bodies or slopes. 

“People residing near banks of Neerunallah and its tributaries are advised to be vigilant and avoid crossing temporary bridges or crossings,” said Masood Khateeb, assistant executive engineer, irrigation and flood control department Bhaderwah. 

He said that the local school authorities have been advised to keep the institutions closed on Monday. 

 

(Chenab Valley reporting by Tahir Nadeem Khan)

 

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