No relief in near future for residents in border areas

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 1/18/2020 4:56:00 PM

SRINAGAR, Jan 17: There is no relief in near future for people living in the cut-off border towns of Keran, Karnah, Machil and dozens of far flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), as the snow clearance operations will take more time following accumulation of 7 to 8 feet of snow at various places and wet weather prediction in coming days.
Keran, Karnah, Machil and dozens of far flung and remote villages, including those near the LoC, remained cutoff the sixth successive day on Friday in north Kashmir due to accumulation of several feet of snow.
Meanwhile, traffic on the road leading to border town Gurez, which is surrounded by Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) from three sides, remained suspended for the past 17 days due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of several feet of snow.
“Snow clearance operation to restore traffic on Kupwara-Karnah, Kupwara-Machil and Kupwara-Keran roads was going on war-footing following improvement in the weather,” an official of Police Control Room (PCR), Kupwara, told media over phone.
However, he said that it will take many days to clear about 7 to 8 feet of snow at some places on these roads. “Prediction of more snow in coming days is also going to hamper the snow clearance operation and will delay the road opening date,” he said.
People in these border areas allege hardships due to frequent suspension of traffic on the roads during winter. Traffic on Kupwara-Karnah and Kupwara-Machil was allowed to ply last Saturday after remaining closed for four days due to accumulation of snow. Meanwhile, border town of Keran was reconnected to the district headquarter last Friday after remaining closed for three days.
Razdan Pass, connecting Gurez, Neeru and dozens of other areas near LoC with district headquarters Bandipora, remained closed due to accumulation of snow and fresh snowfall.
A police official told media that about 4 feet of fresh snow occurred in the area since Saturday night. “About 80 per cent of the road has been damaged and it is highly unlikely that these areas will be reconnected to district headquarter before March,” he added.
The government has approved a tunnel at Razdan pass to make it an all-weather road.
Officials said administration has stocked enough essentials, including rice, atta, sugar, LPG cylinders, medicine at areas which remained cut off during winter with their district and tehsil headquarters in both the district.



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