Weather conditions improve, so does mercury
Snowfall, landslides block Srinagar-Jammu highway
Srinagar: The mercury rose across Kashmir Valley on Monday as there was a visible improvement in weather condition following snowfall in the higher reaches and rains in the plains.
Officials said higher reaches of Kashmir Valley including Gulmarg, the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, accumulated fresh snowfall while plains received rainfall with Kupwara district recording highest downpour in last 24 hours till 0830 hours.
Official sources that Srinagar recorded 3.7mm of rainfall during the time while as it recorded night temperature of 2.3 degrees Celsius and day temperature of 10.7, almost 3 degrees above than yesterday even as it remained almost six degrees below the normal for this time of the year.
Qazigund received rainfall of 16.2 mm, Pahalgam 15.0mm (1cm snow), Kupwara 34.4mm, Kokernag 8.2mm, Konibal 5.5mm, Anantnag 16.2mm, Bandipora 1mm, Budgam 2mm while Gulmarg recorded rain or snow equivalent to30.6mm.
“There was fresh snowfall of 19cm (6.3 inches) at Gulmarg during the time,” they said.
In Jammu division, Jammu proper received 26.6mm of rainfall during the time while Banihal had 37.4mm of rainfall (also 1.5cm snow), Batote 33.6 mm, Katra 35.2 mm, Bhaderwah 15.2 mm, Kathua 20.2 mm, Udhampur 72.8 mm, Kishtwar 12 mm, Samba 23 mm and Reasi 5 mm.
Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was closed for traffic on Monday following snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel and landslides from the hillocks at several places in Ramban district, officials said.
The alternate highway — Mughal Road — also remained closed for the third day as high altitude areas experienced snowfall, while plains were lashed by rains since Sunday afternoon, the officials said.
The snowfall started around Jawahar Tunnel, the gateway to the Kashmir Valley, late Sunday evening and was continuing intermittently, forcing authorities to suspend the traffic on Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to slippery condition of the road, the officials said.
However, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) which is maintaining the road stretch between Zig-Banihal, including the Jawahar Tunnel area, have pressed its men and machines to clear the road.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), which is responsible for road maintenance, has deployed its workforce to clear the road but the incessant rains hampered the clearance operations, the officials said, expecting the road to reopen for traffic later in the day.
The officials said the Mughal Road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir’s Shopian district, remained closed for the third day in view of heavy snowfall in Peer Ki Gali and adjoining areas.
The snow-clearance operation is likely to start later in the day given the prediction of improvement in weather from this afternoon, they said.
Reports of snowfall from high altitude areas were received from Ramban, Doda, Poonch, Rajouri and Udhampur districts, while the plains including Jammu city were lashed by rains since Sunday, ending over two-month-long dry spell in the region.