Snow Causes Traffic Chaos, 22 Flights Cancelled 

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SRINAGAR — Most of the commuters on Wednesday faced nightmares while most of the flights to and fro  Srinagar airport were cancelled. 

At the same time, Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the world, remained open for one-way traffic while mercury nosedived across the Valley.  

Fresh snowfall began around 11 a.m .at many places of the Valley including this summer capital the state. As snow started to accumulate, the commuting become difficult and transport including public buses started to thin out from the roads.  Traffic department also urged drivers to take precautions and among others included driving slow due to slippery road conditions. 

Reports from Ganderbal, the central Kashmir district which saw snow fall of about four to six inches,  said that most of the transport was off the roads and commuters faced tremendous difficulties in reach home back.         

The snowfall which intensified towards the afternoon forced the cancellation of 22 flights.

“The flight operations at Srinagar airport were hit today due to bad weather in the wake of snowfall,” an official of the Airports Authority ofIndia (AAI) said.

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“Five flights were able to operate in the morning. However, due to bad weather, it was not possible to operate other flights leading to the cancellation of 22 flights,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway was open for one-way traffic as there was little or no snowfall in south Kashmir parts on Wednesday.

 “Road Status: #Srinagar-Jammu highway open, Traffic plying from Srinagar to #Jammu; Srinagar-Kargil road Closed; Anantnag-Kishtwar road Closed; Mughal Road closed; Bandipora-Gurez road closed; Kupwara-Karnah, Kupwara-Keran, Kupwara-Machail roads closed. @JmuKmrPolice,” Police tweeted. 

Meanwhile, the day temperatures across the Kashmir Valley nosedived amid fresh snowfall. 

A meteorological department official said that Srinagar recorded a maximum of 1.0 degree Celsius, more than six degrees below normal for this time of the year.  The capital city saw 5.4 mm of snow (when converted into rain) from 0830 to 1730 hours. 

The famous hill resort of Pahalgam recorded maximum of minus 1.6 degree Celsius and saw snowfall of 8.5mm. 

Qazginund, the gateway town of Kashmir, saw maximum of 2.2 degrees Celsius while Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded maximum of 1.1 degrees Celsius. Both these places saw zero or traces of snowfall. 

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The MeT official said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir saw maximum of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and it had snowfall of 15.2 mm during the day.  

Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered maximum of 0.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.

“The (present weather) system is moving slowly towards east and morning will be very cold,” a weather official said. However, he said, tomorrow will be sunny.

He said another weather system was likely to hit the state and under its influence, another snow spell of stronger intensity was expected around January 19 to 23 peaking on January 22.

Avalanche Warning In 9 Districts  

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Wednesday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of the division. The warning has been issued for the avalanche prone areas of Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts.

As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid any untoward incident. The Div Com also directed the concerned DCs to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.  (With Inputs from GNS)  

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