9 flights cancelled as fog hits air traffic in Jammu, worker dies in landslide on NH

A view of snowfall in Loang area of Bani in Kathua district. —Excelsior/Pardeep
A view of snowfall in Loang area of Bani in Kathua district. —Excelsior/Pardeep

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Dec 30: Nine flights at Airport were cancelled today as dense fog cover enveloped the region for second day, while a company worker was killed in landslide on National Highway near Ramban and the prevailing cold wave condition tightened its grip after the recent snowfall in the high altitude areas.
The night temperature continued to remain below 3 degrees Celsius in Jammu for the second consecutive day while the day temperature has recorded some improvement as the Sun turned visible during the mid-day for several hours in the winter capital city here today.
Director Airport Authority, Jammu, PR Beuria told the Excelsior that nine flights were cancelled today due to poor visibility, caused by the foggy conditions. This was the second day when the flight operations at the Jammu airport were badly hit by poor visibility. As many as 16 flights were cancelled on Tuesday and just one could land at Jammu airport due to dense fog.
“It was just 600 meters visibility at 1 pm, thus not allowing the start of flight operations. Five more flights have been delayed, apart from the nine already cancelled,” the Director Airport said.
A Dense fog returned to Jammu city amid a drop in the night temperature which settled at 2.9 degrees Celsius, 4.5 notches below normal during this part of the season. However, the Sun came out around noon providing some relief from the bone-chilling cold and improvement in the visibility in some areas. The day temperature showing improvement, was recorded at 14.6 degree Celsius today in the winter capital, a MeT official said.
He said tourist resort, Bhaderwah in Doda district, which experienced heavy snowfall, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius. Batote in Ramban district recorded subzero night temperature at minus 0.9, while Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, was reeling under a minimum of 3.8 degrees Celsius, the official added.
Kargil remained the coldest place in northern region with a minmum of -17.0 degree C temperature and Leh -14.8 deg C.
Reports from Srinagar said that intense cold wave conditions swept Kashmir today as the mercury fell below the freezing point across the Valley.
The cloud cover ahead of Tuesday’s snowfall had kept the night temperature around the freezing point for two consecutive nights in most parts of the valley but the respite ended as the mercury plunged to minus 11 degrees in Gulmarg in North Kashmir. The Gulmarg tourist resort was the coldest recorded place in the Valley.
Pahalgam in South Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9 degrees Celsius — a drop of six notches in 24 hours.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, was minus 2.2 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night.
Qazigund, the gateway to Kashmir valley recorded a minimum of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in the north, registered a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius and Kokernag recorded minus 6.5 degrees Celsius temperature, a MeT officials said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harsh winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the Valley.
The chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’, which began on December 21 — will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
Meawhile, due to landslide at newly constructed Tunnel (T-49B) area at Hingni near Ramsu in Ramban district on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway last night, a worker engaged by IFFCON Construction Company, was crtically injured. He was shifted to Sub District Hospital, Banihal where he succumbed to injuries in the morning.
The deceased worker was identified as Safdar Ali (34), son of Mohd Sharief Mir, resident of Gandoh in district Doda. His body after postmortem was handed over to the family. Ramsu police has registered a case in this connection.
Official sources said that despite slippery road conditions due to heavy snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel, Lower Munda and Shaitani Nallah area, the movement of slow traffic continued today. However, massive traffic jams were witnessed between Udhampur- Nashri, Ramban- Banihal and Lower Munda areas on the highway today.
Several roads were cleared and power supply restored to most of the snow bound areas of Jammu region by this evening. Chenani –Mantalai- Latti and Udhampur- Pancheri, Basohli-Bani-Loang, Mahore –Budhal and Gool roads were also restored. A PDD official said that power supply to over 95% areas in Jammu region has been restored.