Landslides halt progress of Amarnath pilgrims

Traffic hit as Srinagar-Jammu highway closed for at least 12 hours on Thursday

GN Bureau | July 10, 2015


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Nearly 2,500 Amarnath pilgrims were stranded as Jammu-Kashmir national highway got blocked by landslides at Gangroo near Ramsu on Friday morning.

“The road has got closed near Ramsu due to landslides triggered by incessant rains for the last 48 hours,” said the Traffic Control Room at Ramban. The efforts were on to clear the blockade.

Amarnath pilgrims including men, women and children had left Jammu for Valley early in the morning under police security.

Incessant rains have disrupted normal life in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir. With rivers and nullahs across the state in spate, the traffic at various low lying areas was disrupted due to water clogging.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for at least 12 hours on Thursday following landsides due to incessant rains.

“There were series of landslides at Peeda, Peeda Bridge, Main Market, Karol, Army Convoy Ground Ramban, Seri, Marog, Panthyal, Gangroo and Chereel in Banihal after which the highway was closed for vehicular movement,” SSP Traffic (Highway), Sanjay Kotwal, said.

The highway was closed at around 2.30 am and re-opened after 3 pm.

Due to closure of the highway—the only road link between Kashmir Valley and rest of the world- hundreds of Amarnath pilgrims remained stranded on the route for several hours.

Kotwal said the highway was cleared with the help of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

An official said that traffic would be allowed from Srinagar to Jammu on Friday in case of fair weather.

Meanwhile, rains wreaked havoc in Jammu region and there was a flood-like situation.

“Roads have caved in at several places and several buildings are submerged, structures have suffered massive damages,” said Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh. “People living around River Tawi were the worst sufferers.”

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