MeT Forecast Widespread Snow From Today, Issues ‘Yellow Warning’

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SRINAGAR — Meteorological department here on Thursday issued a “Yellow” weather warning for “isolated  to widespread heavy rain and snow” on January 4 and 5.

There was increase in the mercury while Srinagar-Jammu the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the world, reopened for vehicular traffic after a day-long closure due to snowfall, police officials said.

There are four types colour codes signifying the level of caution: green (which means no action), yellow (situation to be watched), amber (government agencies be prepared for severe weather) and red (action needed by the agencies).

 Ahead of the forecast, Srinagar recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, an increase of 0.2 degrees from the previous night, the official said.

Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 2.3 degrees Celsius in nearby Kokernag town and 3.2 degrees Celsius in Kupwara in north Kashmir, a decrease of three degrees, the official said.

The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra, was minus 7.3 degrees Celsius, plunging nearly seven degrees from the previous night, he said.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 8.5 degrees Celsius, over three degrees down from minus 5.0 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night.

Leh town in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir recorded minus 13.3 degrees Celsius, down from minus 12.4 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night, the official said.

Kargil was the coldest place in the state with minus 17.6 degrees Celsius, he added.

The Met department has forecast more precipitation in Kashmir over the next two days. Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

Meanwhile, over 500 vehicles were stranded at various places in Jammu and Udhampur due to closure of the highway Wednesday.

The Mughal road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir’s Shopian district, continued to remain blocked for vehicular traffic for the second day due to snowfall at various places, including Pir Ki Gali.

“Due to snowfall, the Mughal road continues to remain closed. No traffic is being is allowed on the two sides”, an official said.  

Chief Secretary Reviews Preparedness Via Video Conference   

Jammu: Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam Thursday chaired a video conference with the divisional and district administration of Kashmir and Jammu divisions to review the preparedness in view of the weather forecast for the January 4 and 5, which predicts moderate to heavy snowfall across Kashmir division and parts of Jammu division falling in the Pir Panjal range including Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Poonch and Rajouri.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Secretary, PHE, I&FC, DMRR&R, and Secretary Horticulture were also present in the meeting. Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners and other senior officers participated through video conferencing.

Chief Secretary directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir/Jammu and concerned Deputy Commissioners to remain alive to the weather prediction for the next few days and ensure that the action plan for restoration of basic services/supplies is implemented in synergy and coordination with all the line departments on real time basis for which control rooms at the district and sub district headquarters be kept functional 24×7.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir informed that the divisional and district administration with its men and machinery is fully geared up to meet any eventuality on account of inclement weather. He said that adequate number of snow clearance machines and bulldozers have been deployed in advance at specific locations across the division besides water supply tankers.

Regarding power, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir said that PDD has already pruned trees in the vicinity of transmission lines and this time minimal disruption in power supply is expected due to snowfall.  “The major disruption in power supply due to snow fall of November 3rd and 4th, 2018 was mainly because of foliage on trees. Moreover, adequate buffer stock of transformers is available in all districts” he said.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu briefed about the action plan and status of preparedness in the districts of Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Poonch and Rajouri.

Chief Secretary undertook district wise review of the status of snowfall preparedness, availability of essential commodities including ration, K-Oil, LPG, petroleum products and heating arrangements in hospitals besides availability of firewood. He asked Deputy Commissioners of Kupwara, Bandipora, Kishtwar, Doda, Poonch and Rajouri to ensure that Tulail, Tangdhar, Gurez, Dachan, Marwa, Warwan and Padder and other snow bound remote areas are specially taken care of to avoid any inconvenience to the people living in these areas. He urged Deputy Commissioners to access the funds admissible under SDRF norms for restoration of water supply schemes, power and road infrastructure, wherever required

In order to further augment water supply tankers, transformers, snow clearance machinery and heating arrangements, Chief Secretary asked the Deputy Commissioners to project the fund requirement on this account to the Divisional Administration Kashmir/Jammu for early release.

Preparedness with regard to snow clearance of roads and bye lanes, restoration of water supply schemes, traffic management, rescue plan and facilities for stranded passengers/truckers along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and other important roads was also reviewed.

As regards status of disbursement of relief among the farmers/growers affected by the snowfall November 3rd and 4th, 2018, Chief Secretary observed that Rs 97.5 Crore have been sanctioned as additional assistance for disbursement of relief among the affected farmers/growers of Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Baramulla. Deputy Commissioners were directed to ensure its disbursement within the next 10 days, positively.

Chief Secretary impressed upon the Deputy Commissioners to redouble their efforts to mitigate the problems of the people, undertake regular field visits and be accessible to the general public for addressing their grievances.

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