SRINAGAR, Feb 21: Rains and snow lashed Kashmir today even as Meteorological Department forecasts dry weather for next four days and Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for second consecutive today.
Light to moderate rains lashed Kashmir valley since morning and continued throughout the day and upper reaches of the Valley including Jawahar Tunnel, Gulmarg and Pahalgam received fresh snowfall. However, a MeT official said that weather in Valley will remain dry for next four days.
Authorities here issued a medium danger avalanche warning for some avalanche-prone areas of Kashmir. “Medium danger avalanche warning exists for avalanche- prone slopes of Kupwara, Kargil and Bandipora districts of Kashmir. People are advised not to move in these areas,” an advisory issued here by administration said.
Due to fresh snowfall, rains and landslides, Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed today for the vehicular movement. Landslides and shooting stone at different places along Banihal-Ramban stretch including Panthal blocked the National Highway.
Due to closure of highway, hundreds of trucks are stranded at many places at Udhampur and Qazigund sectors and thousands of passengers are waiting in Jammu and Srinagar for the opening of the highway.
The Border Roads Organization (BRO) continued the clearance of landslides and shooting stones from the highway throughout the day but fresh slides and shooting stones due to rains hampered the opening of the highway.
However, the Inspector General of Police, Traffic, Jagjit Kumar told Excelsior that in the evening over 50 passenger vehicles stranded at Ramban were allowed to proceed towards Srinagar.
Kumar said that if weather permits, the traffic on the National Highway will ply from Jammu to Srinagar tomorrow.
“Keeping in view the condition of the road, especially between Udhampur -Ramsoo and Banihal to Levdora (Qazigund) coupled with narrow width of road at certain places, only one way movement of traffic is feasible/advisable on Srinagar- Jammu NH”, he said.
“Subject to fair weather/ good condition of road and clearance from Traffic Control Units, tomorrow movement of traffic shall be allowed from Jammu towards Srinagar region in a regulated manner”, Kumar said.
The IG Traffic said: “Movement of LMVs/passenger vehicles/Tankers shall be allowed from Nagrota (Jammu) from 0700 hours up to 1130 hours and from Udhampur up to 1300 hours only. However, the movement of HMVs (excluding Trailers/multi-axle vehicles) including convoys of Army, BSF, CRPF etc. shall be allowed from Nagrota (Jammu) from 0730 hours up to 1100 hours and from Udhampur up to 1230 hours only. No movement of vehicles shall be allowed from the above TCPs after the prescribed cut off timing under any circumstances.”
“No movement of traffic including that of convoys of Army, BSF, CRPF etc. shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu side tomorrow under any circumstances to ensure hassle free movement of traffic”, he added.
The Traffic Police has requested the commuters not to park vehicles in any landslide/avalanche/vulnerable zones of NH especially from Ramsoo – Jawahar Tunnel – Levdora under any circumstances. All the vulnerable/avalanche prone zones should be kept free from any kind of traffic to avoid any eventuality.
And despite inclement weather, the minimum temperatures across Kashmir except Gulmarg and Kokernag remained above sub-zero. Srinagar recorded maximum of 10 degree Celsius and minimum of 2.7 degree Celsius while Qazigund recorded maximum 7.3 degree Celsius and minimum of 3.2 degree Celsius.
The maximum temperature in Pahalgam was recorded 5.0 degree Celsius and minimum settled at 0.2 degree Celsius. Kupwara recorded maximum of 7.2 degree Celsius and minimum of 2.0 degree Celsius, Kokernag recorded maximum of 5.5 degree Celsius and minimum of minus 0.2 degree Celsius, Gulmarg recorded maximum of 0.0 degree Celsius and minimum of minus 3.4 degree Celsius, Leh recorded a maximum of 3.4 degree Celsius and minimum of minus 6.7 degree Celsius and Kargil recorded maximum of 1.2 degree Celsius and minimum of minus 5.2 degree Celsius.