Srinagar, Feb 20: Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed for traffic today due to landslides and shooting stones caused by incessant rains while authorities issued an avalanche warning for the hills of North Kashmir after fresh snowfall.
A Traffic official said that one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar was scheduled to ply on the highway today, but the vehicles have been halted near Nagrota in Jammu region due to landslides.
The official said men and machinery have been pressed into service to clear-off landslides and shooting stones but incessant rains led to more slides and shooting stones at various places along the National Highway.
The official said that no traffic movement will be allowed on the highway tomorrow due to continuous sliding and shooting stones especially at Rattanwas, Chamalwas, Sherbibi, Digdol and Seri areas.
The official said that large portion of the road at these locations remained covered with huge boulders. “Notwithstan-ding continuous clearing by the concerned road maintenance agency, the road could not be thrown open for traffic”, he said.
“Efforts in making the road traffic worthy are afoot, but tough time is being faced by the road maintenance agency in road clearance process, which, however, is going on”, the official said.
“In view of the above, no movement of traffic either from Jammu or Srinagar shall be allowed on Jammu-Srinagar NH tomorrow keeping in view the security/ safety of drivers/passengers”, the official said.
“Further, as per weather forecast, moderate to heavy rain/snowfall is expected at widespread places of the State in next 24 hours, which could lead to triggering of fresh landslides and blockade of NH. As such vehicles shouldn’t be parked between Jawahar Tunnel South portal to Nowgam village and between Jawahar Tunnel North portal to Lower Munda under any circumstances. These areas being dangerous and avalanche zones should be kept free from any kind of traffic”, the official said.
Kashmir valley was lashed by incessant rains and upper reaches by light snowfall since last night.
Authorities here issued avalanche warning for some avalanche-prone areas in Kashmir.”High danger avalanche warning exists for avalanche-prone slopes of Kargil district. Medium danger avalanche warning exists for avalanche-prone slopes of Kupwara and Bandipora districts of Kashmir,” an advisory issued here said.
Owing to the overcast conditions, the night temperature across the Valley, except Gulmarg, remained above the freezing point.
Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of 5.8 degree Celsius- up from 4.7 degree Celsius the previous night. The maximum day temperature was recorded at 10 degree Celsius.
Qazigund registered a low of 4.2 degree Celsius and high of 7.5 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of 3.7 degree Celsius and high of 8. 2 degree Celsius. Kupwara town of north Kashmir registered a minimum of 2.7 degree Celsius, same as that of the previous night and high of 13. 9 degree Celsius.
The night temperature recorded at Pahalgam in South Kashmir was 0.8 degree Celsius. Gulmarg in North Kashmir was the only place in the Valley where the night temperature was below the freezing point at minus 1.4 degree Celsius while day temperature of the place settled at 4.2 degree Celsius.
Leh recorded minus 3 degree Celsius as minimum temperature and maximum of 7.5 degree Celsius. Kargil recorded minus 2.7 degree Celsius as minimum temperature and maximum of 2.4 degree Celsius.