Tuesday, March 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP, J&K face Indra’s fury
Snow jams highway, rain kills three

Srinagar, March 3
Hundreds of passengers remained stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, as the Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country, following the closure of the highway for the second day today due to heavy snowfall and landslides.

Life remained out of gear for the second day today in Srinagar and its adjoining areas because of submerged roads and failure of power and drainage systems.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the valley’s only road link with the rest of the country, remained buried under from three feet of snow Qazigund to Banihal while heavy rains in Ramsu and Ramban triggered off landslides.

Officials said passengers in more than 100 vehicles were stranded on the highway at different places. Besides, about 500 trucks loaded with essential commodities are also stranded there.

Sources said the Border Roads Organisation had pressed into service sophisticated machines to clear the highway.

In case the highway was cleared today, only the stranded vehicles would be allowed to proceed onwards and no other vehicle would be allowed to leave Jammu for Srinagar today, sources said.

The intermittent snowfall today after heavy snowfall yesterday caused power-supply failure, as electricity lines, that were repaired after the first snowfall in mid February, collapsed again.

The Chief Engineer (Electric) said the power supply to the city had been restored, citizens said there had been a total power failure for here the past 36 hours.

As the snow has started melting, all roads have been submerged under two feet of water.

A flood-like situation could be seen at Badshah Nagar, Natipora, Azadbasti, Bemina, Mehjoor Nagar, Dilsoz Colony, Natipora, Rajbagh, Kursoo, Nowgam Banapora, Exchange Road, Lal Chowk, Regal Chowk, Iqbal Park and Hazoori Bagh.

At several places, citizens took to streets in protest against total failure of the drainage system and bad condition of roads.

The demonstrators sought an inquiry into the construction of roads and drains in these areas. The claims that millions of rupees from the MLA and MP constituency funds and loans taken from NABARD have been spent on the constructions of drains and roads seem hollow on the ground.

JAMMU: Three persons of a family, including two women, were killed and five others were injured when a house collapsed due to heavy rain in Poonch district. The house of Baderdin Gujjar, a man of the Loyal-Bela-Loran area of the district developed cracks and collapsed due to heavy rain that continued for the fourth day today, killing three members of his family and injuring five others.

The bodies have been recovered from the debris and adding the injured have been admitted in Government Hospital of Poonch.

The Batote-Doda road continued to remain blocked due to landslides at three places, the sources said.

SHIMLA: Heavy snowfall on the higher reaches and rain in lower areas today revived cold-wave conditions in most parts of Himachal Pradesh.

In Shimla and its adjoining areas, rain, and high-velocity winds for the past three days have dipping the temperature to 5°C and the city has recorded 18.1 mm rainfall.

Places of tourist interest like Wildflower Hall, Naldehra, Kufri and Narkanda in Shimla district and Manali in Kullu district had rainfall, while the hills around Manali had snowfall.

The snow and rain caused landslides at certain places, blocking the Rampur-Peo road at Rally. The Shimla-Chopal road was closed to traffic.

Normal life lay paralysed in the tribal belt, following heavy snowfall in the past four days. Keylong, headquarters of the tribal Lahaul-Spiti district, recorded about 4 feet of snow. Power and water supply in the district was disrupted and people melted snow to get water.

Tribal areas of Pangi and Bharmour in Chamba district also experienced heavy snowfall and Killar reported about six feet of snow. There have been warnings of possible avalanches in the area.

The Rohtang Pass and the Dhauladhar Ranges also received heavy snowfall.

The Lower areas like Mandi, Kangra and Kullu experienced rain. Bhuntar in Kullu district and Sundernagar in Mandi district measured 24.5 mm and 8.4 mm rainfall, respectively. PTI, UNI


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |