As the Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the third day following heavy snowfall and multiple landslides, truckers and cab drivers stuck at different points along the way continue to face hardships amid the inclement weather conditions and “absence of help” from the administration.

Manzoor Ahmed, a cab driver stuck in Jammu, said, “We are stranded here for the past four days and have exhausted all our money. We don’t have woollen clothes and blankets with us and it has been raining for the past four days. No one has come to our rescue.”

Another taxi driver, Ishtiyaq from Budgam, said, “We don’t have any room or accommodation in Jammu to take refuge and the administration has done nothing for us.”

With no let-up in the snow in and around Jawahar Tunnel coupled with multiple landslides, mudslides and shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway at various places between Samroli and Banihal, the strategic road was closed for vehicular traffic since Sunday, the officials said.

A passenger at Jammu bus stand, Bilal Dar from Baramulla, said, “While we are running out money, shopkeepers and eateries have been fleecing us. On Tuesday, they sold a plate of food for Rs 70, and on Wednesday the same cost us Rs 100.”

Dar claimed that like him many Kashmiris were forced to spend chilly nights under the crumbling Jammu bus stand where no bedding or heating arrangements were available to them. “The bus stand does not have multiple electricity sockets to charge mobile phones and shopkeepers take money from us to charge our phones,” he added.

This is even as over 250 stranded vehicles, mostly carrying passengers, were cleared after the arterial road was briefly opened for one-way traffic between Banihal and Qazigund.

“While no fresh traffic was allowed to ply on the highway due to inclement weather, most of the vehicles stranded between Ramban and Jawahar Tunnel were cleared,” said ADGP (traffic) T Namgyal.

Ramban district administration has set up an emergency control room to meet any contingency and redress the grievances of the public and commuters. The district administration has advised the public to remain indoors and not venture out unnecessarily in view of snowfall and rains.

Meanwhile, Jammu and other plains were lashed by heavy rains, while high-altitude areas in the region experienced intermittent snowfall for the third day on Tuesday. Jammu recorded 32.4mm of rain during the past 24 hours ending 8.30am Tuesday. Bhaderwah in Doda district, Banihal and Batote in Ramban district experienced 4cm, 3.2cm and 0.5cm of snowfall during the same period, an official said.

Train service from Katra, Jammu unaffected

Rains and snowfall across Jammu and Kashmir had no impact on train services from Katra and Jammu, said senior divisional traffic manager Sudhir Singh. However, nine flights in all — five to Srinagar, three to Delhi, one to Ahmedabad — were cancelled from Jammu airport due to bad weather.

Weather to improve from today

The meteorological department has predicted improvement in the weather from Wednesday forenoon. IMD director Dr Sonam Lotus has issued orange weather warning for south Kashmir, Banihal-Ramban, Chenab valley, Poonch and Rajouri for the next 24 hours.

“Widespread heavy to very heavy snowfall and rain with thunder in plains of Jammu have been reported for the past two days. The same is most likely to continue till Wednesday forenoon, especially in South Kashmir, Poonch, Rajouri, Chenab Valley, Pir Panjal range,” he said.

“We expect significant improvement in weather from Wednesday afternoon with decreased snowfall, better visibility, but from Thursday onward cold wave will return. Expect warmer days and colder nights for the next one week from Thursday onwards,” he added.

Traffic advisory

• No vehicular movement shall be allowed on NH-44 from Jammu towards Srinagar and vice-versa in view of snow accumulation around the Jawahar Tunnel, landslides/shooting stones/mudslides at Samroli, Dalwas, Cafeteria Morh, Sitaram Passi, Panthyal, Magerkot, Gangroo, Salad.

• Mughal Road is blocked due to snow accumulation.

• People are advised not to travel on Jammu-Srinagar highway without confirming status of the road from traffic control units.


• Jammu (0191-2459048, 9419147732)

• Srinagar (0194-2450022, 2485396, 18001807091)

• Ramban (9419993745)

• Udhampur (8491928625)

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