Early Spring Snowfall Cripples Normal Life in Kashmir

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Air, Surface Traffic Hit; Valley Plunges Into Darkness

Srinagar- Two women were injured and over six structures damaged as Kashmir Valley witnessed season’s heavy snowfall on Wednesday disrupting air and surface traffic, railway operations, besides causing water-logging and power outage.

Most parts of the Valley, including capital city Srinagar received moderate to heavy snowfall which started in the night, officials said. The areas in the higher reaches of the Union Territory received very heavy snowfall -- around two feet or more, they said.

The officials said Srinagar - the summer capital of the union territory - recorded about eight inches of snow till this morning.

The authorities pressed men and machinery into service to clear the snow off the roads, many of which, such as those leading to hospitals and other vital installations, are being cleared on priority, the officials said.

Train service between Baramulla and Banihal was suspended this morning due to the accumulation of snow on the railway tracks, the officials said.

The 300-km Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed as besides snowfall, it received heavy rains resulting in shooting stones at a few places, they said.

Traffic was barred on either side of the highway, the officials added.
According to reports, nearly half a dozen residential houses—one in Srinagar, others in south Kashmir districts were damaged due to the snowfall.

Two women identified as Arifa Banoo and Jana Begum were injured after their sheds collapsed in Pulwama district. Also, a family in Awantipora Tehsil had a narrow escape after a walnut tree fell on their residential house today morning.

Meanwhile, the rain and snowfall witnessed a gradual decrease from Wednesday afternoon, and the weather improved significantly in the evening onwards.

Overall improvement is most likely from Thursday onwards. After this spell, there is no forecast of any major rain/snow till the end of this month, the Met office said.

The authorities have appealed to people to not move out of their homes unless absolutely necessary.

Snow clearance machines of MED (mechanical engineering department) and other departments are clearing the snow mechanically and manually from the main roads since early morning, but due to continuous snowfall, the roads are very slippery and there are chances of accidents, the authorities said in an advisory. (With agency inputs)

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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