SRINAGAR – Heavy snowfall continued for the third straight day across Kashmir throwing normal life out of gear, even as the weather department on Wednesday predicted more snow and rain in the Valley till Friday.
There was no respite from weather woes in summer capital, Srinagar, where life remained disrupted for the third day on Wednesday due to fresh snowfall since early this morning.
Srinagar had turned white due to fresh snowfall as people woke up on Wednesday morning. Roof of houses and vehicles and treetops besides roads and open field were under a carpet of snow which occurred despite prediction for dry weather today by Met office.
A fresh Western Disturbance (WD) is likely to hit the region by Thursday and there could be more snow and rain due to this system till Friday.
Snow on streets remained frozen due to which roads have become slippery in the city. Very less number of vehicles were seen plying on city roads. People alleged that snow clearance machines are leaving two to three inches of snow on the roads which later gets frozen, leading to slippery conditions. Drivers were driving their vehicles very slowly to avoid accidents due to slippery road conditions.
Srinagar received 6 inches of fresh snowfall, without a let up resulting in water logging of many important city roads. Many commuters were forced to abandon their vehicle and walk the distance on foot, as the roads became quite slippery despite continuous removal of snow from roads by the administration.
Even as men and machinery were seen on their toes to deal with the situation, but despite the hard by the administration, many areas in the city submerged under the water. Meanwhile people preferred to stay back home, while those who came out had to wade through water. Residency road and Maulana Azad roads remained partially submerged under water.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic, Srinagar, has again appealed to people to drive very slowly and not to apply sudden breaks as roads are very slippery due to sub zero temperature during the night.
The SSP said due to slippery conditions, people should drive carefully on Rambagh-Stadium crossing-Jehangir Chowk fly over. He advised drivers to keep distance between two vehicles to avoid accident. People driving two wheelers should wear helmet and take extra precautions.
People are resuming their normal business and other activities only after 1000 hrs due to cold as the mercury witnessed further drop. Meanwhile, students, including girls, could be seen covering the snow bound slippery roads on foot to reach their tuition and coaching centres.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar was minus 1.2 degree, a Met department spokesman said.
The upper reaches of South Kashmir received the maximum Snowfall. Pulwama recorded 6 inches, Tral one and a half feet, Kulgam 8 inches, Pahlgam 4 inches, while Anantnag received 6 to 10 inches of fresh snowfall. In Mandgiri Kulgam, a house belonging to Kahzir Mohammad collapsed under the snow, while the roof of Jamia Msjid in Waral suffered heavy damage.
Qazi Gund received about 2 feet of fresh snowfall. Jawahar Tunnel connecting Srinagar with Jammu, received about two and a half feet of fresh snowfall, while on the other side of tunnel, in Bnihal area also 2 feet of fresh snowfall was recorded, resulting in the closure of Srinagar Jammu highway.
Meanwhile in North district of Kupwara, Sadhna Top in Karnah Tehsil recorded about three feet of one and half feet of fresh snowfall, while as low lying areas in the region received 10 inches. Due to the unprecedented snowfall in the region, Karnah and Tangdhar area remained cut off from the district head quarter Kupwara, since the road remained closed for a third consecutive day on Tuesday.
Upper reaches of valley including Gulmarg and whole Peerpanchal region witnessed medium to heavy snowfall during the period, while authorities did not withdraw avalanche warning issued on Monday, given to the heavy snowfall in these areas.
In Budgam district all the link roads remained blocked with snow till Wenesday evening, as there was no effort visible from the administration towards removing of snow from these link roads. In Tangmarg area several houses are reported to have suffered damage to the heavy snowfall. In Sokhnag area of Khansahab and on Srinagar Bugam road via Aarath small JCBs were used in failed attempt to clear the snow from roads.
In Kangan area of Ganderbal district people said that no snow clearance operation was conducted by the administration, resulting in difficulty to vehicular movement on Kangan Sonmarg highway. Officials from beacon said that their men and machinery is occupied with snow clearance in the upper reaches, where situation is more critical, while the officials from Roads and Buildings (R&B) department said that they have only one JCB and they are doing whatever they can with that one JCB. (With inputs from CNS)
5000 Vehicles Stranded On Banihal Highway
Jammu: Fresh landslides kept the Jammu-Srinagar Highway shut for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, leaving over 5000 vehicles stranded.
“There were four fresh landslides in Digdol and Panthiyal belts on highway in Ramban district. The traffic on the highway remained closed for the third day today”, a police officer said.
On Monday, heavy rains triggered shooting of stones in Moumpassi, Digdole and Panthiyal areas, forcing suspension of the traffic, the official said.
Snowfall in Kashmir side of the highway, including Jawahar Tunnel, since Sunday has resulted in blockade of the highway.
“No fresh traffic was allowed from Nagrota in Jammu for Kashmir”, he said.
As a result of blockade of the highway, over 5000 vehicles remained stranded at various places en route from Lakhanpur in Kathua district to Banihal belt of Ramban district and also on the Kashmir side.
Air Traffic Again Suspended At Srinagar Airport
Air traffic at Srinagar International Airport was on Wednesday again suspended due to poor visibility and fresh snowfall since early this morning.
Air traffic had resumed only on Tuesday afternoon after remaining suspended for two days in the valley due to bad weather.
Despite prediction for almost dry weather today, fresh snowfall was recorded in Srinagar and its adjoining areas since early this morning.
“No flight has so far landed or taken off at Srinagar airport today,” said an official of airport.
He said air traffic will resume only after snow stops and there is improvement in the visibility. Last month air traffic at Srinagar airport was suspended due to fog and poor visibility for about 12 days. (With Inputs From Agencies)