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Fresh snowfall shuts highway; Kashmir draped in white, again

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KM/UMAR GANIE


Srinagar: Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the world, was closed for traffic following fresh snowfall on Saturday, officials said.

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KM/Umar Ganie

Heavy snowfall was going on near Jawahar tunnel, leading to the closure of the strategic thoroughfare.

 

Traffic authorities were heard making announcement, requesting the drivers to return and “not led people astray.”

“It is my humble request to please return as there are no chances of traffic resuming today. The vehicles which have passed Nagrota are stranded in Chinani, Ramban, Batote and Nasri,” DTI Nagrota, Inspector Rakesh Kumar, was heard making announcement through public address system fitted in the traffic department vehicle.

“Please don’t take any risk. There are chances of (land and snow) slides and as such return home. Whenever highway reopens, there would be traffic from Srinagar to Jammu.”

Pertinently, the weatherman had predicted another spell of snow across J&K from January 22 evening to January 24.

According to reports reaching The Kashmir Monitor, around 15 inches of snow has already accumulated at the skiing destination Gulmarg at around 10 am today while Tangmarg has witnessed around 10 inches of snow so far.

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KM/Umar Ganie

In Baramulla, around four to five inches of snow had accumulated by 10 am.

Meanwhile, the air traffic to and fro Kashmir was affected on Saturday in the wake of snowfall in most parts of the valley, officials said.

“No flight operations have taken place at the Srinagar airport so far this morning,” an official said.

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Scenes at the Srinagar airport Saturday morning (Source: Facebook)

It was snowing in Srinagar, and other central and south Kashmir parts at the time of filing of this report.

The temperatures showed a drastic improvement last night considering that the sky was overcast and prepping up for snow.

Srinagar, where the mercury has been consistently around minus 6 degrees Celsius or more, was relatively cosy at minus 2 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg was the coldest in Kashmir at -4.8, with Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recording a temperature of -4.