Highway Reopens, Kashmir Valley Braces For Fresh Snow   


SRINAGAR — The one-way traffic resumed on Srinagar-Jammu highway Tuesday as authorities allowed traffic after remaining suspended for the past five days, an official said.

The traffic was allowed to ply on the 270-km highway – the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of India- from Srinagar to Jammu Tuesday morning, the official from the traffic department said.

On Monday, the authorities had cleared majority of the stranded Kashmir-bound trucks despite disruption caused by a fresh landslide in the Banihal area along the highway.

The official said the landslide which struck the highway at Kharpora was cleared within hours Monday evening to ensure resumption of the one-way traffic for both heavy and light motor vehicles.

The highway was closed for traffic on Thursday last following heavy snowfall around the Jawahar Tunnel — the gateway to Kashmir — and multiple landslides between Banihal to Ramban stretch.

While the Srinagar-bound passenger vehicles and trucks were cleared on Saturday and Sunday, no vehicle was allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu since Thursday.

The traffic on the highway usually plies from the twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu alternatively during winters.

Meanwhile, Kashmir valley witnessed relatively warmer day amid forecast for rains and snow in next few days especially tomorrow and day after it.

An official of the MET department said Srinagar recorded maximum of 10. 1 degree Celsius, nearly a degree above the normal for this time of the year.  

 Srinagar also witnessed rise in night temperature with mercury settling at 0.2 degrees Celsius against minus 0.4 degrees Celsius from the normal for night for this time of the season .

The official said the maximum temperature in Qazigund and Kokernag towns in south Kashmir rose to 9.8 degrees Celsius and 8.5 degrees Celsius respectively.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered maximum of 6.6 degrees Celsius and a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius, he said.

Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded maximum of 1.2 degree Celsius and a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius while the health resort of Pahalgam registered maximum of 4.7 Degrees Celsius and a minimum of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius.

The has predicted another spell of rain and snowfall till February 8 which might affect the traffic on the highway once again.

The official said western disturbance has hit the state and under its influence scattered to fairly widespread light to moderate rain or snowfall would occur over the state with main activity on February 6 and 7.

He said the system will move forward from north-west to south-east of Jammu and Kashmir and again Pripanjal range from Bhaderwah to Baramulla will receive heavy rain snow especially tomorrow and day after it.

The system is likely to cause widespread rain/snow with heavy to very heavy rain/snow mainly in South Kashmir, Pirpanjal Range (Doda, Batote, Badeewah, Ramban, Banihal and Baramulla) including Jawahar Tunnel, he said.

Meanwhile, 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 the loss of lives.

Further, the DCs have been directed to activate their Control Rooms and ensure snow clearance equipments are placed at proper places for snow clearance in respect of their districts as per the snow clearance plan.

Besides, the divisional commissioner has asked them 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.



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