NEW DELHI: Army came to the rescue of people stranded in a ‘dangerous situation’ near Zojila Pass precipitated by heavy snowfall. Approximately 300-350 people, including women and children, were stranded at heights above 11,000 feet height and temperatures dipping down upto minus 7 degrees.
Srinagar based Defence PRO Colonel Rajesh Kalia said, “In coordination with the civil administration, Army rescue columns moved in vehicles promptly with aid and administrative assistance to rescue the stranded civilians from the Zojila Pass.”
The stranded vehicles were recovered and organised for moving back. The passengers of the vehicles which were stuck badly were evacuated safely back to Sonamarg town in Army vehicles. Much needed medical assistance, hot food and blankets were provided for the night by the Army, said Colonel Kalia.
The situation turned bad “Due to the continuing westerly disturbances” said the army and informed, “the areas of Sonamarg, Baltal and Nilgrar up to Zojila Pass received heavy snowfall on night of 21-22 November. The untimely and heavy snowfall, especially on the higher reaches, resulted in many vehicles skidding off the road and getting stranded in the snow, causing traffic jam at many places.” Since 21 November a large number of loaded trucks and passenger vehicles had moved from Sonamarg towards Zojila Pass.
The traffic jam resulted in a very dangerous situation, wherein approximately 300-350 people, including women and children, were stranded at heights above 11,000 feet height and temperatures at minus 7 degrees.
The teamwork led to a swift operation. While the Police and GREF personnel got busy with clearing the traffic and snow respectively, the Army columns provided immediate medical aid and assistance.