Baltal ‘Trath’: Frozen Frames on Track to Amarnath

This weekend Kashmir woke up to another cloudburst shock coming all the way from busy Baltal route. Such was the nature’s fury that three persons immediately ceased to be while seven souls disappeared menacingly. To lens the latest weather rage, Kashmir Life’s Photo Chief, Bilal Bahadur traveled to Sonamarg in the morning and returned to Srinagar in the evening with the shocking Baltal images

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Amid shutdown, as the news of Baltal cloudburst spread, relaxation mood got a bit derailed. By dusk, as the grim numbers were out, many could feel unspoken ache.

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The cloudburst that hit Baltal Friday night killed three persons, injured nine and disappeared seven.

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The latest ‘trath’ damaged nearly 100 vehicles besides washing away 60 tents and four Lungers near the Amarnath base camp.

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Besides snapping communication links, the cloudburst flooded Baltal base camp of Amarnath Yatra in the area.

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The three killed in cloudburst were identified as Deepak Singh (New Delhi), and the two children, Pooja (13) daughter of Prakash and Vikram (12) son of Kailash.

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Following flash floods triggered by the cloudburst, the Sonamarg-Ghumri road dented by landslides was closed for vehicular traffic.
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Pilgrims were seen expressing gratitude to local Kashmiris for “saving their lives”. Pilgrims were quoted having said that they won’t forget the bravery of locals who “saved our lives by putting their own lives at risk”.

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The cloudburst however didn’t impact the ongoing Amarnath Yatra. The pilgrimage continued from both the Pahalgam and Baltal routes.

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Some 2940 persons left from Chandanwari Access Control Gate and 1276 persons from the Domel Access Control Gate by 11am Saturday morning towards the cave shrine. By noon, some 2200 Yatris had paid obeisance.

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Immediately after the cloudburst, Governor NN Vohra expressed grief over the loss of lives announcing ex-gratia relief of Rs 1.00 lac each to next of kin of the deceased persons.

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Saturday’s ‘trath’ at Baltal is another addition in the series of cloudbursts falling over Kashmir lately. The environment experts blame the drastic climatic change in valley behind the phenomenon.

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Besides instilling a new terror, which many refer as ‘weather terror’, the spree of ‘traths’ has alarmed Kashmir. Amid this ongoing phenomenon, many are now getting mindful of the fact as what does it mean to curse someone with “Pay’ya Trath‘!

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