Fog Grounds Flights For Sixth Consecutive Day

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SRINAGAR - Flight operations at the Srinagar airport remained suspended for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday as all flights to and fro the Kashmir valley were cancelled due to poor visibility caused by fog, officials said.

"All flights at the Srinagar airport were cancelled on Thursday and no flight operations took place for the sixth straight day," an official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said.

He said the visibility at the airport, due to fog, was very poor and the conditions were not suitable for flight operations.

"The visibility at the airport has been hovering around 100 to 500 metres. The required visibility is 1,000-1,200 metres. So, all flights for the day were cancelled," the official said.

The flight operations have been severely affected at the Srinagar airport for the past five days.

Although there was light rainfall early in the morning, the foggy conditions persisted in the valley. The MeT department has forecast snow or rains in the next couple of days.

Fresh Snowfall In Upper Reaches, Rains Lash Plains

The upper reaches received fresh snowfall while plains had rain, ending about a week-long dry and chilly conditions in the Kashmir valley, where night temperature witnessed surge and day become more cold.

However, sun appeared briefly in Srinagar though icy cold winds also continued.

The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg was coldest in the valley at minus 5.2 degree while Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, was lowest minus 14.4 degree minimum temperature.

A Met department spokesman said today that there could be widespread rain or snow in the Jammu and Kashmir during the next 48 hours.

After witnessing fog and chilly weather conditions for the past five days, Srinagar and its adjoining areas witnessed light rain early this morning. Because of this change, the minimum temperature in Srinagar recorded surge and settled minus 0.7 degree, which is near normal. However, the day has become chilly due to icy cold winds. There could be rain or snow in Srinagar during the next 24 hours, he said. Shops and business establishments reopened in the city late due to early morning chill.

Gulmarg, famed ski resort about 50 km from here in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, received light snowfall early this morning. However, the upper reaches, including Kongdori, Khilanmarg and Affarwat, the highest skiing point connected by Cable Car from base, received moderate to heavy snowfall. The minimum temperature at Gulmarg was minus 5.2 degree, freezing snow on the ski slopes.

The upper heights in entire north Kashmir, including the areas near the Line of Control (LoC) received moderate to heavy snowfall during the past 24 hours, forcing authorities to suspended traffic on dozens of roads leading to far flung and remote areas. Kupwara recorded minus 0.8 degree minimum temperature.

The roads from Kupwara to Machil, Keran and Karnah besides Bandipora to border town of Gurez also remained closed due to fresh snowfall for the past two days.

World famous health resort of Pahalgam received very light snow followed by rain. The minimum temperature there was minus 1.3 degree at Pahalgam. However, the upper reaches received heavy to very heavy snowfall.

Kokernag recorded minus 1.2 degree and Qazigund minus 0.8 degree minimum temperature after upper reaches received snow and plain witness rain.

People in Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh continued to shiver due to below freezing temperature. The majority water bodies remained frozen in the region. However, Drass was the coldest in the region at minus 14.4 degree while the minimum temperature at Leh was minus 10.6 degree, spokesman said. (UNI)

Banihal Highway Open For Traffic, Mughal Road Closed

Despite light snowfall the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was through for one-way traffic on Thursday.

However, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, linking Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed for the second day on Thursday due to fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours, a traffic police official said.

There was fresh snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel early this morning and sky was cloudy in Ramban and Ramsu areas, he said. However, the highway was open for one-way traffic.

Today vehicles will ply from Srinagar to Jammu and no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction to avoid traffic jam and accidents, he said. However, people are requested to contact Traffic Control Units (TCU) at Srinagar, Jammu and Ramban before starting journey on the highway, he said adding only one-way traffic will ply on the highway till further orders.

There was fresh snowfall on the Mughal road, particularly at Harpora, Pir-ki-Gali and other areas during the past 24 hours. No vehicle was allowed on the road due to slippery road condition and snowfall, traffic official said adding there is a forecast for heavy snowfall during the next 24 hours.

Traffic on the road was allowed recently after remaining suspended since November 6 when there was heavy snowfall.

The road, which is also seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway, remained closed during winter months due to about ten feet of snow and avalanches.   (With Inputs From Agencies)

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