Highway sinks in Doda, rescue work underway

February 8th, 2009 - 6:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Doda (Jammu), Feb.8 (ANI): Doda and Kishtwar districts of Jammu and Kashmir were virtually cut off from rest of the state after heavy overnight rains washed off parts of a road near the Baglihar power project on Saturday.
A half-a-kilometer stretch of road between Batote-Kishtwar National Highway-1B collapsed under the weight of rising waters of the Chenab River.
Officials said four vehicles, including two trucks; an ambulance and a van were swept away. The driver of a van is missing.
A house was also buried under the debris.
Eyewitnesses said the river gradually swamped the road. Panic-stricken locals said after the commissioning of Baglihar project, the water level in Chenab had increased.
“My house is just hundred meters away from Chenab River. We got scared that that the water would submerge us also. We could not sleep the entire night,” said Shyam Lal, a resident of the area.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) teams have been pressed into action and repair and rescue work is going on.
“We have sent a team of engineers and officials of the revenue department. They are taking stock of the situation and are estimating the loss and the locals would be compensated and evacuated from the region if required,” said Sayed Shareif-Ud-Din, District Commissioner of northern Doda.
He said a chopper would be available at the Doda district headquarters to meet any emergency.
State chief, Omar Abdullah conducted an aerial survey of the region and ensured supply of essential commodities to the region.
Experts had earlier cautioned that there was a danger of the twin districts getting submerged and being cut off from the rest of the state if the water flow increased.
The disputed 450-megawatt Baglihar Dam is being built by India on the Chenab river, which flows from Indian Kashmir into Pakistan.
Islamabad has objected to its design saying it violates a 1960 World Bank-brokered water-sharing treaty. India rejects the charge. (ANI)

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