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Heavy snowfall continues; NH, Doda-Kishtwar road remain blocked on Day 2

All flights to Srinagar airport cancelled

Heavy snowfall continues;  NH, Doda-Kishtwar road  remain blocked on Day 2

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Jan 17: The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway  and all the roads in Chenab region including Batote- Doda-Kishtwar and Bhaderwah remained closed on the second consecutive day today as snowfall continued at many places across the State, the air traffic at Srinagar airport was badly hit due to bad weather.
The snowfall in South Kashmir started this morning again and in Srinagar it started around noon. It was snowing tonight with Srinagar recording the coldest day of the season at 0.4 degree Celsius.The Meteorological Department has forecast scattered to fairly widespread snowfall or rain over two days from today.
Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continued to be blocked and no fresh traffic has been allowed today due to continuous snowfall along the National Highway at several places. Around 218 vehicles and 181 passengers are stranded on the National Highway between Udhampur and Qazigund, an official spokesman said.
Senior Superintendent of  Police Traffic Kashmir, Fayaz Ahmad Lone, told Excelsior that in view of  fresh rain and snowfall at various places on National Highway at Patnitop, Ramsoo, Banihal, Jawahar Tunnel, Zig, Qazigund and coupled with slippery road condition, no fresh movement of traffic shall be allowed on the highway till further orders. “However, in case weather improves and after the road is made traffic worthy, the vehicles stranded on NHW in between Udhampur and Banihal shall be cleared and allowed to proceed towards their respective destinations on 18.01.2017”, he said
The snowfall and fog disrupted the air traffic at Srinagar Airport and all 14 flights scheduled for today were cancelled. An Indigo Flight, however, landed around noon but failed to take off due to snowfall. However, the train services between Banihal and Baramulla that remained disrupted in Kashmir due to snowfall was resumed today despite fresh snowfall.
An official said that Shopian recorded 1.6 feet of snow today, Pulwama one feet, Tral 7 inches, Anantnag one feet, Kokernag 1.6 feet, Pahalgam 1.6 feet, Jawahar Tunnel 4.6 feet with 2 feet fresh accumulation, Kulgam 2 feet, Aharbal one feet and Srinagar 4 inches.
The snowfall led to slippery road conditions in South  and Central Kashmir. Huge traffic jams were witnessed in Srinagar as the traffic was plying on snail’s pace due to slippery road conditions.
Srinagar city witnessed a drop of a degree in the night temperature which settled at the minimum of minus 1.9 degree Celsius, compared to the previous night’s minus 0.9 degree Celsius.
In Gulmarg the mercury settled at a low of minus 10.2 degree Celsius, against minus 8.0 degree Celsius yesterday. The resort town was the coldest places in the Valley.
Pahalgam in South Kashmir registered a low of minus 12 degree Celsius, a drop of nearly nine degrees from the previous night.
Qazigund registered a low of minus 3.4 degree Celsius and in Kokernag the mercury settled at minus 2.9 degree Celsius. Kupwara recorded a low of minus 2.9 degree Celsius.
Leh was the coldest recorded place in the State with a low of minus 13.7 degree Celsius, over three degrees down from the previous night’s minus 10.1 degree Celsius. Kargil town registered a decrease of six degrees from the previous night’s minus 4.8 degree Celsius to settle at a low of minus 10.8 degree Celsius.
Jammu recorded a minimum of 5.8 degree Celsius, Katra 5.4 degree Celsius, Banihal minus 6.6 degree Celsius, Batote minus 1.4 degree Celsius and Bhaderwah minus 5.0 degree Celsius.
Srinagar recorded a maximum of 0.4 degree Celsius, Qazigund  0.9 degree Celsius, Pahalgam 0.0 degree Celsius, Kokernag 0.8 degree Celsius, Kupwara 1.6 degree Celsius, Gulmarg minus 4.0 degree Celsius, Leh minus 2.6 degree Celsius and Kargil recorded minus 1.2 degree Celsius.
Jammu recorded a maximum of 12.9 degree Celsius, Katra 9.9 degree Celsius, Banihal 1.6 degree Celsius, Batote 2.0 degree Celsius and Bhaderwah 1.7 degree Celsius.
Reports from Doda said that movement of vehicles on all the roads including Batote- Kishwar, Doda- Bhaderwah and all orther internal   roads has been stalled with the fresh snowfall on the second day. He said Patnitop and Kud, Bhaderwah  experienced fresh snowfall and the road could not be restored due to bad weather. He said more than 150 goods carriers and other vehicles are stranded at different places in Chenab region.
Mahore-Gool, Mahore-Budhal and Gulabgarh roads also remained blocked while in Poonch several roads including Mandi Loran and Mandi Saujian were still blocked besides Thannamandi-Bafliaz and Chandmarh roads.  The Dudu-Basantgarh road in Udhampur could not be restored even today. The power supply to many areas could not be restored even on the second day, the sources added.
SSP National Highway, Jammu Sanjay Kotwal said that as the weather did not improve, the movement of vehicles was not allowed towards Kashmir or Doda-Kishtwar. He said due to fresh snowfall and slippery road conditions the movement of any kind of vehicles was strictly restricted. He said if the weather improves tomorrow, the one way traffic will be restored by clearing opening Kud -Patnitop patch. Jawahar tunnel area received heavy snowfall and there is danger of avalanche. The clearance of this section depends on the fair weather conditions, Kotwal added.
With the closure of highway a large number of vehicles have been stranded at Nagrota Bypass, Udhampur- Dhar Road and Samba- Mansar road. Huge rush of passengers has been witnessed at Jammu Bus Stand as large number of vehicles from Kashmir and Doda- Kishtwar are also stranded here.

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