Kashmir Braces For Another Snow Spell

 KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: The intense cold wave conditions continued unabated in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday as the minimum temperature stayed several degrees below the freezing point in the Valley, where the weather department has predicted another snow spell from Friday night.

Srinagar city - the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir - recorded a low of minus 7 degrees, down from minus 6 degrees Celsius the previous night, a MeT official said.

The minimum temperature in the city last night was nearly five degrees below the normal for this time of the year, he said.

The Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district recorded minus 7.8 degrees Celsius last night, down from minus 6.5 degrees Celsius the night earlier.

Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.3 degrees Celsius down from the previous night's minus 8.3 degrees Celsius, the meteorological department said.

Qazigund recorded a minimum of 8.8 degrees Celsius, it said.

Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag recorded minus 6.9 degrees Celsius.

Several water bodies in the Kashmir Valley have frozen due to the bone-chilling cold.

A thick layer of ice has frozen over several roads in the city and elsewhere in the Valley, making it difficult for motorists to drive in the early hours. However, the situation may improve as the Valley is experiencing unusual winter sunshine.

The MeT department has forecast that a Western Disturbance will affect the Union territory for a few days from January 22.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and temperature drops considerably, leading to freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake here as well as water supply lines in several parts of the Valley.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

Highway To Remain Closed Today

The 270 kilometre-long Jammu-Srinagar National highway will remain closed for traffic on Friday for maintenance.

ADGP Traffic T. Namgyal said that traffic will remain suspended on Srinagar Jammu highway for maintenance, and no vehicular movement will be allowed tomorrow.

"The work on the bridge is going on at full pace unless the concrete won't get settled fully then only we can allow the traffic on the bridge," Namgyal said.

In a communiqué by Traffic Police Headquarters J&K which read, “ Tomorrow on 22-01-2021, No vehicular movement shall be allowed on Jammu-Srinagar NHW in view of maintenance/repairing of the road. "

"Mughal road continues to remain closed due to snow accumulation", reads the communique.

The retaining wall of the Bridge had collapsed at Kela Morh in district Ramban, after which traffic authorities suspended the traffic on the highway causing a lot of problems to the people travelling on the road.

The closure of the highway also leads to the interruption of essential supplies to the valley.

As an interim relief NHAI was roped in BRO to launch Bailey bridge at Kela Morh in district Ramban which was completed in 60 hours and on priority basis essential supplies were moved towards the valley.

Meanwhile, a top reliable source confirmed that they are expecting the bridge at Kela Morh to be operational for traffic movement by 10 February.  (With PTI Inputs)

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