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Snowfall in Kashmir: Road, air links snapped; wet-weather to continue till Tuesday

Kashmir People enjoy at a snow covered park during the first snowfall of 2021 in Srinagar Umar Ganie scaled
Photo: KM/Umar Ganie


Srinagar: The fresh snowfall across Kashmir has led to the suspension of traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway as well as snapping the air-traffic.

A Traffic Control Room official said the highway was closed for traffic movement due to heavy snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel.

 

The snowfall also disrupted the air traffic to and fro Srinagar airport here.

As per the officials, none of the scheduled flights has operated so far at Srinagar International Airport due to the poor visibility and slippery runway in wake of the snowfall. 

“In the morning, the visibility was very poor due to heavy snowfall. So far none of the flights operated at the airport. Some flights may operate as the snowfall has stopped, subject to the improvement in the visibility, ” an official told The Kashmir Monitor. 

Similarly, the Srinagar- Jammu national highway too has been closed for the traffic due to the slippery condition of the road. 

Official  at the Traffic Control Room said that more than 15 inches of snow has accumulated at Jawahar tunnel and other spots which blocked the highway. 

” Traffic has been suspended as the highway is not clear yet. The clearance work is going on at Jawahir Tunnel where it is around 15-16 inches of snow, ”  he said. 

Meanwhile the weatherman has predicted the moderate to heavy snowfall for two more days. 

 “Overall, the snowfall will continue from Sunday to Tuesday forenoon with the occasional break.This may lead to the disruption of surface and air transportation, water-logging in plains of Jammu and Srinagar cities,” the MET Office said.

The snowfall started during the night at most places and early in the morning at few places, the officials said.

They said while some areas in north Kashmir received light snowfall, most areas in central and south Kashmir experienced moderate snowfall.

The higher reaches of the valley experienced moderate to heavy snowfall, the officials said.

“As of now, snowfall of same intensity is likely to continue till afternoon and there will be a temporary break till evening,” the officials said.

Srinagar received about three to four inches of fresh snowfall.

The officials said Pahalgam tourist resort recorded five to six inches of snow, while Kokernag about nine inches.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir received four inches of fresh snowfall, while the areas around Jawahar Tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway recorded about ten inches of snowfall, they said.

The fresh snowfall led to the suspension of traffic on the highway.

A Traffic Control Room official said the highway was closed for traffic movement due to heavy snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel.

The minimum temperature improved across the valley due to the snowfall but still stayed below the freezing point, the officials said.

Srinagar city — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — recorded a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius — up from the previous night”s minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, they said.

The mercury at Gulmarg improved from the previous night”s low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius on Saturday night.

Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius – up from minus 8.4 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the officials said.

Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius, Kupwara, in the north, minus 3.3 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.

The MET Office said moderate to heavy snowfall, with isolated very heavy snowfall, was most likely to take place, especially in south Kashmir, Gulmarg, Banihal-Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri, Kistawar and Zanskar, Drass as well as on the higher reaches of Ladakh UT, over two days from Monday.

“Overall, the snowfall will continue from Sunday to Tuesday forenoon with the occasional break.This may lead to the disruption of surface and air transportation, water-logging in plains of Jammu and Srinagar cities,” the MET Office said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ”Chillai-Kalan” — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

While ”Chillai-Kalan”which began on December 21 — will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ”Chillai-Khurd” (small cold) and a 10-day-long ”Chillai-Bachha” (baby cold).