No relief in near future for people living in border areas in north Kashmir

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Srinagar: There is no relief in the near future for people living in the cut-off border towns of Keran, Machil and dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), as the snow clearance operations would take more than a week.

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 19 days on Monday, due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of several feet of snow.

However, traffic was plying normally on roads to several far-flung and remote villages, adjoining to border town of Karnah, after reopening on Sunday.

”Snow clearing operation is going on a war footing on Kupwara-Keran and Kupwara-Machil roads,” an official of Police Control Room (PCR), Kupwara, told UNI over the phone.

But, he said it will take about a week to clear about 7 to 8 feet of snow at some places on these roads. Border towns of Keran, Machil and dozens of far-flung and remote villages were cut off from the district headquarter on Monday, due to heavy snowfall.

He said vehicular movement was plying normally for the second successive day to some other remote and far-flung areas, which are adjacent to Karnah. Traffic was restored to these areas on Sunday, after remaining suspended for seven days, due to slippery road conditions and accumulation of several feet of snow.

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 UNI that about 5 feet of snow was accumulated at some places on the road.
”About 80 per cent of the road has been damaged and it is very much 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.