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Fresh snowfall disrupts road, air traffic

Srinagar, Jan 31: Fresh snowfall across Kashmir on Thursday snapped the region’s aerial connectivity with the rest of the country as it led to cancellation of flights and also disrupted traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway for the second consecutive day.

The snowfall which started on Wednesday continued on Thursday with Srinagar receiving 5.6mm of snowfall 5:30 PM.


The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg received 6.2 mm of snowfall,Pahalgam received 3.8 mm of snow, Qazigund recorded 18.6 mm snowfall, and Kupwara 6.5 ,

Meanwhile, Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed for traffic for second consecutive day on Thursday due to fresh snowfall and landslides, officials said.

Due to fresh snowfall and slippery road conditions in the Banihal-Ramban sector and a fresh landslide in Ramban stretch, the highway has been closed for traffic, they said. This has been done to ensure that no vehicle gets struck on the highway.

“No vehicle has been allowed to move to Kashmir Valley from Jammu from Nagrota traffic check post”, a traffic police officer said.

The men and machines of BRO are working on the highway to clear the highway of the snowfall accumulation and landslides, they said.
Due to the bad weather and poor visibility, the flight operations were cancelled on Srinagar International airport.

“No aircraft has arrived at Srinagar airport since this morning. Nine flights have been cancelled so far. If the weather does not improve, rest of the flights will also be cancelled,” an official of the Airport Authority of India said.

“The flights including Air Asia I5-716, Indigo 6E-2554, 6E 576, 6E 653, Go Air 128/129 SXR-DEL, Vistara UK 611 SXR-IXJ, Spicejet SG 161 SXR-IXJ were cancelled, “Srinagar Airport officials said.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar was minus 0.3 degrees Celsius while in Pahalgam and Gulmarg it was minus 2.7 and minus 6, respectively.

Leh in Ladakh region recorded minus 9.1, Kargil minus 18.4 and Drass is minus 14.9 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Jammu was at 10.1, Katra 8.2, Batote and Bannihal 0.3 and Bhaderwah recorded 1.2 degrees Celsius.

The closure of the road has resulted in shortage of essentials like cooking gas and eatables including vegetables and mutton, local residents claimed.

The prices of vegetables and other eatables have risen sharply over the past few days, Farooq Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Sarai Bala, said.

Officials of the Divisional administration maintain that some trucks, which were stranded along the highway, have been able to reach here over the past two days.”The supplies have reached, we have enough stocks of essentials. There is no need to panic,” a senior official said.

According to MET department officials, ‘Chillai-Kalan’ which ended on Thursday was harshest in more than a decade and the cold wave is expected to continue in Kashmir as the valley has entered the 20-day period Chillai-Khurd (small cold) which will be followed by 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).

On the other hand, the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway linking Ladakh region with Kashmir also remained closed due to accumulation of snow, particularly between Sonamarg-Zojila-Meenmarg and Drass. There was also fresh snowfall early this morning at several places on the highway.
However, the snow clearance operation will be started next month only.


Another spell of snowfall from Feb 5: MeT

Srinagar, Jan 31: The snowfall in the Valley continued for the second consecutive day on Thursday while as the local Meteorological department forecasted improvement in weather conditions from Friday afternoon.
The Valley’s higher reaches including famous ski-resort and others including Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg as well as the plains received a fresh snowfall since Wednesday, brining the temperaturefurther down in the Valley.
However, the local MeT department has predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Friday afternoon.
Deputy Director, Mukhtar Ahmad said that the weather would improve from Friday afternoon, saying that another Western Disturbance is affecting Valley especially Pir Panchal from February 5, which will continue till February 7.
He informed that they are predicting moderate snowfall across the Valley especially in Pir Panchal areas moderate snowfall from Feb 05-07.