Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jammu Srinagar highway opens partially

Vaishno Devi pilgrimage resumes, 200 ill in Banihal 

As pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi resumed this morning after a night-long halt, one-way traffic was restored at Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. Due to outbreak of viral fever, at-least 200 people fell ill in Banihal villages in absence of medicare and doctors.Reports from Reasi said that pilgrimage to Mata Vaishnodevi resumed this morning after a night-long halt due to extreme cold and snowfall around the cave shrine in the Trikuta hills.“Yatra has begun this morning as routine. It was suspended last evening due to extreme cold triggered by heavy snowfall in the shrine area and enroute,” official reports said.“Yatra is going on smoothly. There is no problem to pilgrims,” reports said, adding that there was heavy snowfall in and around the cave shrine triggering extreme cold wave conditions yesterday. The shrine and its adjoining Trikuta hills received the season's first snowfall on January 6.

Despite cold wave conditions, the pilgrimage was going on till last evening, but no one was allowed from the Katra base camp towards the shrine later.Our correspondent Khawaja Sharjeel reports from Banihal that after two days the 300-km long National Highway re-opened for one-way trafic, today. All the stranded 115 vehicles carrying essential commodities which where stranded at Chanderkot and Ramban were allowed to move towards Kashmir at about 5 PM today. 120 vehicles carrying essential commodities crossed Jawahar Tunnel at 9 PM.BEACON authorities removed snow on one side at National Highway early today and completed the job at 2:30 PM upto Jawahar tunnel. Meanwhile, bulldozers were pressed into service to remove landslides at Gangru Ramsu at about 4:30 PM and then traffic was allowed to move towards Kashmir.

Reports from Trigam, Charwari Nallah, Put Nallah, Kacharbass, Padder Ara, Ara, Takri, Guri, Gunz, Kumbla, Thakdhar Ara, Ahma and Tragan revealed that some viral infection had spread in these areas. People are suffering from cough and fever. At least 200 people have suffered due to this viral infection, official reports said.The people infected by viral fever are forced to move on foot for at-least 4 kilometers to reach the Primary Health Center (PHC) Khari. It was learnt that viral infection occured due to non-availability of drinking water and use of snow melted water. No doctors or medicare facilities were available in these areas.When contacted, Tehsidhar Banihal Niyaz Ahmed Wani, he said PHE department and Health department authorities have been asked to provide necessary facilities to the people and DDC Ramban has also been informed. He told KTNS that all departments like PHE, Health, PDD and PWD are monitoring the situation keenly.

Due to heavy rains, landslides were reported at Seri Ramban, Maroog, Nashri, Digdool, Khooni Nallah and Panthal. A snow avalanche also struck at Nachllana causing no loss to life and property which was cleared about 4:30 PM. Two residential houses were reportedly damaged at Ramban and Parnot besides one Government Middle School at Trana Khari.Power was also restored after one day by PDD Banihal at town and adjoining villages of Banihal incliding Chanjloo, Malwat, Gujnarh Krawah, Parastan, Phago, Chamalwas, Neel, Pogal, Ukhall, Panthal, Khari, Trigam and Trana. The clearance of snow at Banihal link roads was also started by PWD Banihal and only the roads under IRCON are yet to be cleared except Kaskoot Banihal.
A big Chinar tree at Kaskoot suffered cracks and there are chances of damage to two big homes and Jama Masjid Kaskoot, in case the tree collapses. People of Kaskoot requested Tehsidhar Banihal and district administration for help so that heavy loss can be prevented timely.

Police communique claimed that heavy avalanches took place in Nachalana, Sherbibi and Shermili Water Fall areas due to recent heavy rainfall. To expedite the widening of the national highway, police alongwith about 100 personnel along with spades and other equipments reached the spot and widened the path for safer passage.

The communique further claimed that cops rescued nine migrant families in Sangaldan area and these were shifted to PWD building near Sangaldan. Couple of families were shifted from Barakund and Hall area to safer places and 10 families from village Kurzi, 5 families from village Hargam, 1 family each from village Mangit and Aramdhaka.

The cops evacuated 3 LMVs from snow prone area and rescued 12 passengers in Ramsoo, 4 LMVs from snow prone area and rescued 16 passengers in Nowgam while the track was cleared by the police leading to Masjid at Banihal.

Passengers were accommodated at safer places in Batote and Ramban areas and 260 loadcarrier vehicles were allowed to move towards valley.In Jammu stranded passengers protested at General Bus Stand demanding early arrangements for their shifting to respective destinations.

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