Srinagar, Feb 9: The Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed on Saturday for the fourth consecutive day due to snow accumulation and landslide debris on the strategic 300 km-long road, a traffic official said.
“Snow clearance operation is going on in the Bannihal area while landslide debris is being cleared at Digdol, Panthal, Battery Chashma and Anokhi Falls in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector,” the official said.
“We are expecting to get the highway cleared by this afternoon. A decision to allow traffic will be taken after getting an approval from the Border Roads Organisation and the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India).”
Over 2,500 trucks carrying essential supplies to the landlocked Kashmir Valley are stranded on the highway for the last four days.
Meanwhile, airfare between Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Delhi has skyrocketed ever since the closure of the highway. Flights to Srinagar airport resumed on Friday afternoon following a two-day suspension.
A special Indian Air Force plane carried 179 students to Jammu from Srinagar on Friday. These students will appear for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering exam on Satuday.
The MET Office has forecast dry weather till February 13 in Jammu and Kashmir.
After a slight improvement on Friday, minimum temperatures has again dropped below the freezing point at most places in the Valley on Saturday. “Due to the clear night sky, the minimum temperatures have again dropped below the freezing point at most places in the Valley. The weather is likely to remain mainly dry in the state during the next 24 hours,” a Met department official said.
Kargil recorded the night’s lowest temperature at minus 19.4 degrees Celsius while neighbouring Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 15.0, Met office said.
Drass town was the coldest in the Jammu and Kashmir at minus 26.8.
Srinagar, the summer capital of the state recorded a low of minus 5.7 while the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 9.0 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 14.4 degrees Celsius. The night temperature in Pahalgam – the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra – settled at a low of minus 12.7 degrees.
Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 7.7 degrees Celsius while Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 7.4 degrees Celsius last night.
Jammu recorded a low of 4.0 degrees Celsius while Batote recorded minus 1.6, Katra 4.8, Banihal recorded 1.4, and Bhaderwah recorded minus 4.4 degree Celsius.