Landslides close Jammu Srinagar highway
Srinagar: After opening briefly on Saturday, the Jammu Srinagar highway was again blocked on Sunday due to landslides triggered by rains at Digdol, 150 kilometres from Jammu.
The highway has mostly remained blocked since last Thursday, when massive snowfall swept Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is a massive landslide that has hit the highway at Digdol, 125 metres of the road has been swept away,” Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, SSP traffic rural told IANS. “Men and machinery are on the job to open up the highway, it may take a day,” he said.
Hundreds of trucks are stranded on the highway. Ram Yadav from Rajasthan is one the truckers stuck on the road.
He has got a kerosene stove and utensils from the nearby town of Udhampur and sets off in the morning in search of vegetables, rice and kerosene oil. This truck is his home away from home. It is his kitchen and bedroom as well and will continue to be till the road opens.
“We have to bring rice and fuel from the nearby market, ration stocks will last for three days, if the highway continues to remain blocked, we will face a lot of problems,” said Ram Yadav.
The adverse weather conditions prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir have worried most truckers.
“We are worried because of the highway blockade, we don’t have enough food material, there is problem of drinking water, water tankers must be sent for the people stranded,” said Sahu Kumar, another truck driver from Rajasthan.
The Meteorological Department has forecast more snow due to a fresh Western disturbance.
“More snowfall is likely between 14 and 16 November, but the intensity would be less,” Director IMD – Kashmir, Sonam Lotus told IANS.
The Jammu Srinagar highway is the life line for the Kashmir valley, the important surface link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country. People stuck on the highway are only hoping that it opens soon so that their problems come to an end and they can head to their respective destinations.