Hundreds Of Vehicles Leave Jammu for Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials, left Jammu this morning for the Kashmir valley as the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu highway was through for only one-way traffic despite rain.

The highway was through for one-way traffic though there was rain in the morning, a traffic police official told UNI.

He said all types of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials, left Jammu this morning for the Kashmir valley. However, no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction.

The official said that only one-way traffic will continue on the highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country till further orders to avoid traffic jam.

Vehicles, including trucks stranded at several places on the highway have also been allowed to move towards Srinagar this morning.

However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway has been working round the clock to make the road safe for two way journey.      

However, a traffic police official said that two-way traffic on the highway will be resumed only once a green signal is received from BRO and Traffic police officials posted at different places.

Traffic on the highway, the only road linking the valley with the rest of the world, was disrupted frequently due to snowfall and landslides besides slippery road conditions since first heavy snowfall on January 6.

However, the closure of the highway has resulted in considerable increase shortage of essentials, particularly fresh vegetables and fruits as trucks remained stranded for the past about a week across the tunnel. The prices of local vegetables had also witnessed increase. Kashmir valley is importing vegetables, fruits and chicken and meat from different parts of the country.

Majority meat and chicken shops remained closed in the valley because of no supply from outside due to closure of the highway.

Traders at vegetable mandi remained idle as only onion and potatoes are available.

“We were receiving hundreds of trucks loaded with fresh vegetables every day but for the past about more than a week there is hardly any,” the traders said adding the local vegetables are also under snow forcing people to consume pulses and dry vegetables.

The historic Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir remained closed due to heavy snowfall. Both the roads will reopen only in summer. The Mughal road is seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

Avalanche Warning Issued for Kupwara, Bandipora

 Divisional Administration Kashmir Tuesday issued a medium danger avalanche warning for next 24-hours for hilly and avalanche prone areas of Kupwara and Bandipora districts.

“Medium danger avalanche warning valid for next 24-hours from January 31 to February 01, 2017 (1700 hrs) exists for avalanche prone slopes in Kupwara and Bandipora districts in Kashmir Division,” a statement of the Divisional Administration said.

Accordingly, Deputy Commissioners of Kupwara and Bandipora have been asked to take precautionary measures in their respective districts and advise people not to venture in avalanche prone areas and to keep clearing snow depositions from roof tops of their houses and bunkers to avoid damages.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, G M Dar, today asked the people residing in the areas of Keran, Machil Karnah, Jamagund and Cumkadi to exercise caution and take necessary precautions while moving outside their homes, besides refrain from venturing outside during night hours.

In case of any exigency locals have been asked to contact control room on: 019555-252280, 253335, 9596472005 and PCR on 01955-252451 and 01955-262295.

Gulmarg, Upper Reaches Receive Fresh Snowfall

SRINAGAR: The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg and upper heights in the Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall while the plains, including summer capital, Srinagar, received light to moderate rains during the past 24 hours.

However, as the day progressed, weather improved though sun was behind the clouds. Gulmarg was coldest in the region at minus 4.6 degree, still about 3 notches below normal followed by Leh minus 4.4 degree.

A Met department spokesperson said that there could be isolated rain or snow in the Kashmir valley and Jammu region while the weather will remain dry in Ladakh during the next 48 hours.

He said Gulmarg, a major attraction for skiers, adventure lovers and tourists, received fresh 3.6 inches of snowfall during the past 24 hours resulting in drop in the minimum temperature. Against yesterdays minus 3.8 degree, it was minus 4.6 degree, still about three notches below normal. The coldest night at the ski resort was minus 14.4 degree, recorded on January 14.

The upper reaches, including the cut off areas near the Line of Control (LoC), also received fresh snowfall in the north Kashmir, where 20 Indian army soldiers and four members of a family were killed in different snow avalanches since January 6, when first snowfall was recorded after about six month long dry spell. However, the main Kupwara town received 8.8 mm rainfall though the minimum temperature was 0.2 degree, two notches above normal.

He said famed health resort of Pahaglam about 100 km from here in south Kashmir also received mixed rain and snow during the past 24 hours. About 5.5 cm snowfall was received. However, there was slight improvement in the night temperature against yesterdays minus 0.5 degree it was minus 0.3 degree, six notches above normal.

People in the summer capital, Srinagar, had a sigh of relief as weather turned dry and mercury also witnessed improvement though there was 0.6 mm rain during the night. Against yesterdays minus 0.4 degree minimum temperature it was 0.9 degree, a notch above normal on the first day of 20 day-long “Chilai-e-Khurd”, second harshest period of winter after 40-long “Chilai-e-Kalan”, which ended yesterday.

He said there could be partly cloudy sky and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 6 degree and minus 2 degree respectively in the city during the next 24 hours.

Reports of fresh snowfall were also received from Mughal road, which is closed for traffic for winter months. The road, seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway, is linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in  Jammu region.

Qazigund, gateway of Kashmir on Srinagar-Jammu highway which is through for one-way traffic only, received light rainfall though the maximum temperature recorded further improvement.

Against yesterdays 0.4 degree, it was 0.8 degree, three notches above normal. Kokernag, a tourist resort also in south Kashmir, also received light rain through there was no change in the minimum temperature of minus 0.2 degree, two notches above normal.

Leh in Ladakh region also received 5 mm rainfall during the past 24 hours though the minimum temperature recorded about one degree improvement. Against yesterdays minus 5.7 degree minimum temperature it was minus 4.4 degree.

The sky would be partly cloudy and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 0 degree and minus 12 degree respectively at Leh during the next 24 hours.

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