Air traffic restored, highway shut for second day

Police rescue 24 persons from Kulgam district

SRINAGAR: The Jammu-Srinagar highway, which serves as tenuous lifeline to Kashmir valley,  remained closed for the second day today, while the airlines resumed operations, even as fresh snowfall was reported from many areas of the Valley on Wednesday.

Official sources said that 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for vehicular traffic for the second day today due to landslides at Panthal and fresh snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel. Over 500 vehicles were stranded at the highway, as the fresh snowfall hampered the efforts of Beacon workers to make the highway through.

About four feet of snow had accumulated on the road near Jawahar tunnel. Several feet of snow was recorded at Banihal and other areas. "At Patnitop about three feet of snow was recorded in the past 24 hours."

“No vehicle was allowed to ply on the highway because of the fresh snowfall. Efforts were on to make the highway through. If weather remains pleasant, the highway will reopen tomorrow (Thursday) for vehicular traffic,” a senior official of Traffic Police said.

The air traffic, however, was restored today after the snow was removed from the runway. Only Srinagar-Leh flight was cancelled due to bad weather, while flights to and from Jammu and Delhi operated normally.

Officials said that five families comprising twenty-four people, including women and children were rescued by police from Marsha Nallah in Kund, area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. All of them were removed to safer places.

Meanwhile, an official of the MeT department said that Srinagar recorded fresh snowfall of 26.2mm (depth 10 cm), Qazigund 50.4mm (depth 20 cm), Pahalgam 66.6mm (depth 30 cm), Kokernag 44.6mm (depth 14cm) Gulmarg 11.7mm (depth 14cm). Kupwara district received rains. The minimum temperature in Srinagar was recorded at Srinagar minus 1.3, while Gulmarg, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 8.0 degree Celsius.

“Snow/rain will occur at isolated places across Jammu and Kashmir,” the official added. 

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