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Air traffic resumed in the afternoon

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Hundreds of stranded passenger vehicles cleared on Sgr-Jmu highway

Srinagar: The air traffic to and from Srinagar airport was restored Saturday afternoon after it was hit by poor visibility in the morning due to snowfall, officials said.

"The flight operations at Srinagar airport resumed in the afternoon after disruption in the morning," an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said here.

He said the air traffic was disrupted in the morning because of low visibility due to snowfall.

"After the initial cancellation in the morning, the visibility improved in the afternoon as the weather improved and the flight operations resumed," the official said.

He said eight flights were cancelled Saturday out of a total of 28 flights scheduled for the day.

Some of the flights were also delayed, the official added.

Meanwhile, over 500 passenger vehicles were cleared Saturday despite snowfall which disrupted traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, officials said.

The traffic on the 270-km highway was suspended around 11 am as a precautionary measure due to slippery conditions between Shaitani nallah and Verinag zig, leaving hundreds of Srinagar-bound vehicles stranded, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic National Highway, Pardeep Singh Sen, told PTI.

However, over 500 passenger vehicles which were left stranded between Banihal and Ramban were allowed to move towards Srinagar later in the day after authorities pressed men and machines to clear the snow which had accumulated on the ground around Jawahar Tunnel.

High altitude areas including Jawahar Tunnel experienced fresh snowfall, while plains were lashed by incessant rains during the day owing to a fresh western disturbance.

Almost all the passenger vehicles were cleared, while efforts were on to clear the heavy vehicles carrying essential supplies to the valley including oil tankers, the officer said.

He said the authorities are monitoring the weather situation and a decision to resume one-way traffic on the highway will be taken after clearance of all stranded vehicles.

No fresh vehicle will be allowed to ply on the highway Sunday in view of inclement weather conditions, he said, adding that only stranded vehicles will be allowed to move.

Currently, the traffic on the highway has been restricted to one side and plies alternatively between the two capitals cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

In the meantime, intermittent snowfall continued in Kashmir for the second consecutive day Saturday, leading to disruption in flight operations at the Srinagar airport, officials said.

Intermittent snowfall continued in most parts of Kashmir for the second day, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.

He said while the plains, including Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, experienced light snowfall, most of the higher reaches of the state received moderate snowfall.

The snowfall has led to decrease in visibility, resulting in disruption of flight operations at the Srinagar airport.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus 0.8 degrees Celsius last night – slightly up from the previous night's low of minus 1 degree Celsius, the official of the Met office said.

He said Qazigund in south Kashmir also recorded a low of minus 0.8 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius last night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of 0.2 degree Celsius, the official said, adding Kupwara was the only place in Kashmir where the night temperature settled above the freezing point.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius last night, while Pahalgam tourist resort registered a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.

The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius last night, while the mercury in Drass settled at a low of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius and Kargil experienced the minimum of minus 16.8 degrees Celsius.

Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.

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