January 6, 2021

Heavy Snowfall shuts Kashmir highway, air traffic at Srinagar airport

Normal life takes a big hit, Weatherman predicts improvement from today afternoon

Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory received heavy snow fall disrupting the normal life on Tuesday. UNI SRN PHOTO 18.

Srinagar: The Valley continued to receive snowfall for the second straight day on Tuesday thus simultaneously affecting normal life across the region while the weatherman predicted improvement in the weather conditions from tomorrow (Wednesday). Heavy snowfall coupled with rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir not only affected normal life but also hit vehicular traffic on Jammu Srinagar highway that connects winter and summer capitals of Jammu and Kashmir . The air traffic at Srinagar Airport also remained shut for third straight day.
Officials said the Kashmir highway connecting Kashmir with rest of the country remained blocked due to snow accumulation, shooting stones and landslides at around a dozen places between Udhampur district headquarter and Jawahar Tunnel of Ramban district.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic NHW, JS Johar said at Samroli in Udhampur, land slide incident took place in which a heavy stone also fell on highway closing it for traffic and not only the valley based traffic but movement of vehicles from Chenab valley also got affected and remained close for some hours.
“The traffic from the Chenab valley as well as traffic between Jammu and Srinagar also remained affected due to this slide,” he said, adding that slide has been cleared and traffic stand restore from the spot.
He further informed that at around twelve more locations between Udhampur and Jawahar Tunnel and especially in Ramban District jurisdiction, continuous land slide, mud-slide and shooting stones have resulted closure of national highway.
” At Dlawas and Nashri, there is mud slide while at Peera, Cafteria Morh, Monkey Morh, Marog 3 and at around six other places, there are continuous landslide and shooting stones barring authorities to restore the highway,” said SSP JS Johar.
He further added that restoration of highway depends upon fair weather conditions only.
When asked about number of vehicles plying between Jammu and Srinagar that are stuck over highway, SSP Johar said that no vehicle is presently stuck on highway.
Officer also informed that on Monday, around 900 hundred vehicles were facilitated to move over highway which included around four hundred and ninety passenger vehicles and remaining were goods carrier vehicles especially tankers of fuel and trucks carrying perishable daily usable
Director Srinagar Airport Santosh Dhoke said, “Low visibility and accumulation of snow at the Srinagar airport led to the cancellation of 27 flights on Thursday morning, from last three days there has been no flight movement.”
He said that the men are on job to clear the snow from runways, as soon as the weather improves and “once we get a clear signal, we will resume the flight operations.”
Since Tuesday morning, almost all parts of Kashmir are witnessing moderate to heavy snowfall.
The Tourist spot of Gulmarg also received fresh one feet of snow while Sonmarg and Pahalgam received two to three feet of snow. Though the administration has set up several control rooms to clear snow from the roads and highways, but at many places the locals complained that roads are yet to be cleared.
Vehicular connectivity in several parts of the Kashmir remained affected, with concerned administrations miserably failing to clear snow from main roads.
However, officials said that men and machinery were pressed in few areas to clear main roads.
Reports said white blanket covered Kashmir’s higher reaches as well as plains on Tuesday for third consecutive day as most parts of the Valley received heavy snowfall. Director Meteorological Department, Sonam Lotus said that there are reports about five feet snowfall in some parts of the Valley, saying that although the reports are not confirmed yet, there is possibility that some of the higher reaches may have received even 10ft of snowfall.
He added that the prevalent weather conditions would continue till tomorrow afternoon. “As per forecast, moderate to heavy snowfall would continue across Kashmir till late hours tonight. The weather would start gradually improving after the late night. But, overall weather would witness improvement from tomorrow afternoon,” he said.
Lotus said that although he has no mandate to speak about the avalanche, according to him, next 24 hours are crucial as such intensity of snowfall has always led to the avalanches. “People should be made aware not to venture out during the next 24 hours and take appropriate measures in this regard,” he said.
MeT spokesman while divulging the details, said that minimum temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir settled at minus 0.8 degree Celsius last night while at world famous ski-resort, it was recorded minus 4.0 degree Celsius.
He informed that Srinagar received 20cms of snowfall from morning 08:00 AM to 04:20 PM, adding that Qazigund received 18.5cms of snowfall while Pahalgam a famous tourist resort received 7cms of snowfall from Tuesday morning till 04:20PM.
9cms of snowfall was received in Kupwara. 12cms of snowfall was received in Kokernag, he said, adding that Gulmarg, a world famous ski-resort has received 23cms of snowfall from this morning.
Notably, the normal life came to standstill Tuesday due to snowfall as maximum roads and streets wore a deserted look Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses said that the vehicular movement was off the roads Tuesday due to slippery conditions of the roads triggered by the fresh snowfall. They said that snow remained accumulated on most of the roads and thus left the people to lurch at large.
However, the administration said that the people didn’t cooperate on apt time as they came out with vehicles, thus affecting the road clearance work.

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