Kashmir cut-off after season’s first snowfall in Srinagar

Due to snowfall, Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for vehicular traffic as the road had become slippery for plying of vehicles.

Published: 12th February 2018 07:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2018 07:03 PM   |  A+A-

File picture of vehicles moving towards Jammu-Srinagar highway closed due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir valley.(Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir received season’s first snowfall on Monday, disconnecting Valley’s air and surface link from rest of the country.

The light to moderate snowfall brought to an end the long dry spell in Kashmir.

Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K, and other plains in the Valley experienced snowfall in the early morning. The snowfall continued till the afternoon.

The entire Srinagar was covered with a white blanket. The snowfall brought smiles on the faces of people, especially among the children, who were making snow balls and throwing at each other.

Srinagar had not experienced any rain or snowfall this winter and was in grip of dry spell. The summer capital also did not experience snowfall during Chilai Kalan, the 40-day long harshest winter period, which starts on December 21 and ends on January 31.

The upper reaches of the Valley including Srinagar-Jammu national highway also experienced moderate to heavy snowfall.

The ski tourist of Gulmarg in north Kashmir and Pahalgam in south Kashmir experienced heavy snowfall.

According to officials, Srinagar recorded 16 cm snowfall, Gulmarg 1 ft, Pahalgam 13 cm, Qazigund 17 cm, Kupwara 6 cm, Kokernag 16.7 cm, Banihal 6 cm, Batote13 cm and Bhaderwah 16 cm.

The snowfall brought an end the long spell of dry spell. There was some snowfall in early December last year in upper reaches but since then the weather had remained mostly dry.

Due to snowfall, Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for vehicular traffic as the road had become slippery for plying of vehicles.

A traffic police official said Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which is looking after the maintenance of the 296 kms long highway, has pressed its men and machinery into service to make the road traffic worthy.

He, however, said the rain and snowfall was hampering the restoration work.

The snowfall also disrupted Kashmir’s aerial connection.

An airport official said neither any flight landed nor took off from Srinagar airport today due to poor visibility.

He said they are hopeful that the air operations would resume tomorrow.

Deputy Director Meteorological (MeT) department, Mukhtar Ahmad said the Valley would also experience rain/snowfall in the night.

He said the weather condition would improve from tomorrow forenoon.

Meanwhile, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) has issued high danger avalanche warning for Baramulla, Gulmarg, Kupwara, Chowkibal, Tangdhar, Phurkian, Z Gali, Bandipora, Kanzalwan and Gurez sector in north Kashmir.

It has also warned of medium danger avalanche in Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Ganderbal and Kargil.

The SASE also warned of low danger avalanche on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and higher reaches of Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Leh, Reasi and Udhampur Districts.

People living in these areas were advised to avoid these routes and avalanche prone areas.

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