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news details
Srinagar-Jammu highway closed after Kashmir receives fresh snowfall; MeT forecasts light precipitation for next 24 hours
1/11/2019 10:34:01 PM
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Jan 11: The national highway, the only all weather road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was closed on Friday due to fresh snowfall since Thursday night.
The Ladakh highway and historic Mughal road also remaind closed for the past over a month due to accumulation of several feet snow which has now frozen.
Traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed due to about ten inches of fresh snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, Banihal and Shaitan Nallah, a traffic police official said this morning.
He said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway has already put into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the snow.
However, due to continued snowfall, the snow clearance operation hampered. However, he said, about 500 Kashmir bound vehicles, mostly trucks and oil tankers, which were stopped at Ramban, Ramsu, Chanderkote and other places will be cleared before allowing fresh traffic on the highway.
Due to slippery road conditions, these vehicles were stopped to avoid any accident, he said. Once the road is put through and all stranded vehicles cleared, fresh traffic will be allowed from Kashmir to Jammu on Friday.
No fresh vehicles, including security force convoy, would be allowed from Jammu, he said. Meanwhile, reports received from Ramban and other places said large number of Kashmir bound passenger vehicles are also stranded on the highway.
A number of passengers said over phone that they had to stay in vehicles during the night in the absence of any accommodation. Even children and women could not get any food, they further alleged and demanded that authorities should stop vehicles at places where hotels and dhabas are available.
Large number of Jammu bound vehicles have also been stopped at Qazigund and other places on their side of the tunnel. Only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway for the past over a year to avoid traffic jam in view of road widening and frequent landslides.
Meanwhile, there is no possibility of early resumption of traffic on the highway, linking Ladakh with Kashmir and Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. The authorities have already approved construction of tunnels to make these roads all weather road
However, the flight operations at the Srinagar airport took place normally, an official at the airport said.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus one degree Celsius on Thursday night, down from the previous night's low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, the MeT official said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, a degree up from the previous night, the official said. He said Pahalgam tourist resort recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius Thursday night, up over eight degrees from minus 11.4 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Drass settled at a low of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius. Drass was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.
The MeT Office said the weather is likely to remain cloudy and there is a possibility of light snowfall in some areas of Kashmir which would persist till the next 24 hours. It said there is also a possibility of overall improvement in the weather from Sunday.
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