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Power supply off, flights cancelled, 4000 vehicles stranded: Snowfall piles up miseries for people in Kashmir

Srinagar:  Behind the breathtaking beauty of snow lies the dark underbelly of miseries and tribulations for the people of Kashmir.

For the last 24 hours, many areas across Kashmir have been plunged into darkness. Instant snowfall on Sunday reduced the power supply considerably in the valley. Under fire, the administration assured that 90 percent of electricity will be restored by Monday night.

 

Chief Engineer Power Development Department Aijaz Ahmad Dar said they are targeting to restore 90 percent of the electricity by tonight.

“Feeder-wise, we have 70 percent of the electricity in Kashmir and load wise it 80 percent. Right now the difficulty is that some of the feeders we have restored again develop snag due to the snowfall. We are targeting to restore 90 percent of the electricity by tonight,” he said.

Kashmir remained cut off from the rest of the world as snowfall disrupted air and road connectivity on Monday. An official of the traffic department said that around 4000 vehicles are stranded on the national highway from Jammu to Ramban.

Officials at the Traffic Control Room Srinagar said that the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for traffic.

Snow has blocked the road stretch between Ramban and Jawahar Tunnel. 

“The traffic has not been allowed today as snow has accumulated at multiple spots on the highway. The road is completely blocked at Ramban. The clearance work is going on. Traffic will be allowed once the entire road is cleared with subsequent improvement in the weather,” the officials said.

Director Airport Authority of India, Srinagar, Santosh Dhoke told The Kashmir Monitor that none of the scheduled flights at Srinagar airport could operate due to the snowfall.

 “The visibility was too poor and the condition of a runway due to the snowfall was not suitable. So, all the flights were canceled. Yesterday similar conditions prevailed due to which all flights were canceled,” he said.

In view of the bad weather, the AN-32 Kargil courier planned for Tuesday was also canceled, officials said.

The valley continued to receive moderate to heavy snowfall on Monday with plains of north, central and south Kashmir waking up to around two, four and eight inches of snow respectively.

Srinagar received snowfall of 13.4 cms in the last 24 hours while the mercury settled at minus 0.9 Degree Celsius.

Qazigund, the gateway town of the valley, recorded the highest snowfall of 52 cms, while Pahalgam and Kokernag recorded 21 cms and 32 cms respectively.

Gulmarg received 4 cms of fresh snowfall in the last 24 hours and the temperature improved to minus 5.0 Degree Celsius.  Frontier district in north Kashmir, Kupwara recorded 3.5 cms of snowfall.

 A MeT official said that the valley on Monday received a rainfall of 4.0mm. He forecasted heavy to very heavy snowfall across Jammu and Kashmir till Tuesday noon.

The disaster Management department has issued a medium danger avalanche warning for Jawahar Tunnel and Tanghdar. A low danger avalanche warning has been issued for Gulmarg, Gurez, Kanzalwan, and Sonmarg, the official said.