Srinagar-Ladakh Highway, Mughal Road Closed
SRINAGAR (ONS) – Snowfall in the states higher reaches cut off traffic to remote areas in the Kashmir Valley and blocked the Mughal Road and the Srinagar-Ladakh highway on Thursday.
Kashmirs plains received strong showers since Wednesday evening, bringing temperatures markedly down, but weathermen have forecast improvement from Friday though light snowfall is likely in the mountains.
Authorities ordered road links to remote frontier towns, including Gurez, Machil, Karnah, Tangdhar and Keran closed for now due to snowfall along the LoC since last evening.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway, however, was open for traffic though the Jawhar Tunnel in the Pir Panjal ranges received about 6 inches of snow.
Nearly three feet of snow were recorded on the Sonarmarg-Zoji La tract of highway to Ladakh.
Some goods carriers stranded on the route due to the sudden snowfall are in the process of being extricated, reports said.
According to sources, vehicles carrying election material to Ladakh for the ensuing LC polls, too, had been held up, but was shipped later with the help of the army.
The ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was said witness a heavy tourist rush amid yet another two feet of snow.
The divisional administration said that only vehicles with four-wheel drive or anti-skid chains on tyres would be allowed up to the resort from Tangmarg due to slippery road conditions.
Snowfall was on higher up in Khilanmarg, Apharwat and other mountain stops on the tourist trail when reports last came in.
Further north, the frontier area of Gurez received at least one foot of snow, while Machil, Sadhna Top and adjoining areas were 1.5 feet deep in white.
In the south, the Peer Ki Gali heights recorded over two feet of snow, prompting authorities to close the Mughal Road linking the Valley to Poonch and Rajouri.
The tourist resort of Pahalgam was under four inches of snow and areas higher up, including the Amarnath Cave, had received over two feet of snow.
Moderate snowfall has also been reported from the southern areas of Daksum, Wayil, Kokernag, and the Dhandwad, Dumhal, Kandimarg and Badi Jhalan regions.
In Srinagar, the minimum temperature stood at three degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, but would rise with improvement in weather on Friday, Sonal Lotus, the director of the regional meteorological centre here, said.
Weather is likely to remain dry in the plains in the coming week, he said.