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Heavy snowfall in Kashmir; 3,000 stranded

Source: PTI
February 08, 2005 16:46 IST
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Heavy snowfall in the Kashmir valley forced the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only surface link between the valley and the rest of the country, for the second day on Tuesday, official sources said.

The 300-km highway, which was reopened only on Sunday after being closed for three days, had to be closed again in the evening following heavy snowfall and landslides at several places.

Nearly 3,000 people have been stranded by the closure. The locals of Nogum, Thater and Sukha villages near Jawahar tunnel have provided them accommodation, while the army provided food and other facilities.

The Border Roads Organisation has stepped up efforts to clear the arterial road of snow and landslides. But fresh snowing around the Jawahar tunnel is hampered their efforts, sources said.

A thick layer of snow covered the highway between Patnitop hill station and Banihal, the gateway to the valley, the sources added.

Early on Tuesday morning, a three-foot thick layer of snow covered the Patnitop resort, and vehicles on their way to Srinagar were stopped at Nagrota, about 12 km from Jammu, they said.

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