1000's Of Vehicles Stranded On Banihal Highway

 Trucks stranded on Kashmir Highway | KO File Photo

Srinagar: Kashmir was cut off from rest of the world on Monday as the arterial Jammu-Srinagar highway and Mughal road were closed due to snowfall across the valley, leaving nearly 4500 vehicles stranded.

"The Jammu-Srinagar Highway is closed due to accumulation of snow at many places, especially around Jawahar Tunnel," an official of the traffic control department said.

He said snow clearance operations were in full swing and efforts were on to restore movement of stranded vehicles along the 260 kilometre road.

The official said nearly 4500 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essentials to the valley, are stranded along the highway at various places.

Mughal Road, which connects the valley to Jammu division through Shopian-Rajouri axis, has been closed for several days due to heavy snowfall in the region.

The officials said south Kashmir's Kulgam district received the highest snowfall with two to three feet of snow accumulated at some places.

Anantnag district has also received heavy snowfall between one foot and two feet, they said.

The flight operations to and from Srinagar remained suspended for the second consecutive day due to poor visibility, the officials said.

The minimum temperature improved in most places in the valley due to the snowfall but still stayed below the freezing point, the officials said.

Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius -- up from the previous night's minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, they said.

The minimum temperature in Gulmarg tourist resort remained unchanged at minus 5 degrees Celsius on Sunday night compared to a night earlier.

Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius – plunging from minus 1.45 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the officials said.

Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, Kupwara, in the north, minus 0.3 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.

The MET Office said moderate to heavy snowfall, with isolated very heavy snowfall, was most likely to take place, especially in south Kashmir, Gulmarg, Banihal-Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri, Kistawar and Zanskar, Drass as well as on the higher reaches of Ladakh UT, over two days from Monday.

“Overall, the snowfall will continue from Sunday to Tuesday forenoon with the occasional break. This may lead to the disruption of surface and air transportation, water-logging in plains of Jammu and Srinagar cities,” the MET Office said.

Poor Visibility Grounds Flights

Air traffic to and from Srinagar airport was affected for the second consecutive day on Monday as poor visibility hampered the operations, officials said.

"The runway has been cleared of snow but flight operations are suspended due to poor visibility," an Airports Authority of India official said.

He said the flight operations would resume if the visibility improved later in the day.

Flight operations had to be cancelled on Sunday due to snowfall across the valley.

The weather Office here has said moderate to heavy snowfall, with isolated very heavy snowfall, was most likely to take place over two days from Monday.

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