The commuters, including 42 labourers from outside the state, were trapped at Chatapani-Pushana near Peer Ki Gali yesterday due to Heavy Snowfall in the upper reaches of Surankote, a senior police officer said. They were evacuated and taken to a company base camp at Bufliaz, he said.
Peer Ki Gali along the Mughal road, connecting Kashmir with the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, experienced heavy snowfall since Monday. The road was closed on Sunday evening as a precautionary measure following a weather forecast which predicted moderate to heavy snowfall and rains in wide parts of Jammu and Kashmir from December 11 to 15.
The inclement weather also led to the suspension of helicopter and battery car service at the famous Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Trikuta Mountains, officials said. However, the pilgrimage to the shrine was on despite heavy rains.
Heavy snowfall in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh forced the district administration to sound an alert on Tuesday. While the Manali-Rohtang-Keylong road disappeared under a thick layer of snow and will only open next year in May, the police restricted the movement of tourists beyond Nehru Kund as a precautionary measure.
Hundreds of tourists on Tuesday morning made a beeline for Solang valley to see the fresh snowfall. However, as the road had become slippery, the police started stopping the tourists at Nehru Kund, 6km from here.
Manali DSP Puneet Raghu said, “Nehru Kund area has enough snow for tourists. We don’t want tourists to get into trouble. Tourist movement towards Gulaba has been restricted. A police patrolling team had to bring back tourists from Anjani Mahadev and Solang valley areas on Monday evening when snowfall started. We have requested tourists to cooperate with us and don’t venture close to isolated areas.”
Both Solang valley and Kothi, 13km from Manali, received 30 cm snow on Monday. Gulaba and Marhi too received 30-60 cm snowfall while Rohtang Pass received nearly 100 cm of snow, so far the highest this season. Udaipur, Koksar, Sissu and Keylong in Lahaul also received fresh snow on Tuesday.
Lahaul-Spiti DC Deva Singh Negi said the administration in Lahaul was on alert. “The entire valley is experiencing heavy snowfall, so the roads have been closed. We have already made all preparations and residents have been asked not to go close to avalanche-prone areas. Schools and offices will keep running as normal,” he said.
Officials said emergency helicopter service will now be the only mode of transport available for the residents of Lahaul. Most parts of Lahaul and upper Manali continued to receive snowfall leading to intense cold conditions in the state.
Source : timesofindia