This Article is From Feb 25, 2012

Fencing along LoC damaged by avalanches: Army

Srinagar: Avalanches in Kashmir have caused "extensive" damage to the fencing along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Valley, posing a fresh challenge to the anti-infiltration grid, the Army said today.

The Army was also reviewing the feasibility of abandoning some posts near the Line of Control (LoC) in wake of the looming threat of fresh avalanches.

"There has been extensive damage to the fence in many areas, especially along the Shamsabari (mountain) range," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Northern Command Lieutenant General K T Parnaik told reporters in Srinagar.

The fence along the LoC was erected in 2004 as part of the counter-infiltration measures and has proven vital in the efforts of the army to check infiltration.

Lieutenant General Parnaik said there was so much snow in the area that it has even buried the fence. "This is a yearly phenomenon but this year the snow has been rather heavy...the fence has got damaged. In fact, there is so much of snow that it has got over the fence," he said.

Avalanches have struck many areas along the LOC in Kashmir following heavy snowfall in the Valley this winter.

A massive avalanche hit the headquarters of 109 Infantry Brigade at Dawar area of Gurez sector, near LoC, in Bandipora district on Wednesday night resulting in the death of 14 soldiers while two others are still missing.

Three more soldiers were killed the same day when another avalanche hit an army camp in Sonamarg area of central Kashmir Ganderbal district.

Lieutenant General Parnaik said the Army faces a "huge task" to retrieve and repair the fence once the snow melts and summer sets in.

"I am sure we will be able to do it in time," he said.