Heavy rains in J&K; Amarnath yatra suspended

PTI

File photo of pilgrimage facilities near holy shrine in Amarnath.  Photo - PTI

File photo of pilgrimage facilities near holy shrine in Amarnath.
Photo – PTI

Amarnath yatra from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal has been suspended following heavy rainfall early on Friday. The annual yatra to the holy shrine of Amarnath began yesterday.

“The yatra has been suspended temporarily in view of the rains that lashed the twin routes early in the morning, ” an official of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) told PTI.

He said the rains have rendered the tracks slippery at some places.

“The pilgrims headed for base camps at Baltal and Nunwan are requested to check the status of the yatra with the control room or helpline set up by the SASB before starting off,” the official said.

Braving inclement weather, over 6,000 pilgrims yesterday paid obeisance at Amarnath amid tight security.

In a related development, the 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway has been closed for vehicular traffic due to blockade triggered by landslides in the Ramban and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Heavy rains triggered landslides on the highway at Nashri, Bali Nallah and Panthiyal areas in the day as a result of which few hundred were stranded.

Another major landslide took place on highway at Bali Nallah in Udhampur district, he said, adding there was a minor landslide near Nashri tunnel in Ramban district.

In view of the blockade, over 150 vehicles were stranded at various places enroute the highway. The men and machines of BRO are working to clear the highway to make it trafficable, the official said.

(With inputs from PTI)