Air, road traffic resume; 2 dozen passangers stranded at Sadhna Top for 3 days

Outskirts of Bhaderwah town in Jammuu region witness heavy snowfall on Sunday morning. (UNI)
Outskirts of Bhaderwah town in Jammuu region witness heavy snowfall on Sunday morning. (UNI)

Power, water supply in many Jammu areas affected

Fayaz Bukhari/Gopal Sharma
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Jan 6: After remaining disrupted for two days, the air- traffic was resumed at Srinagar Airport today and movement of vehicles was allowed on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, while around two dozen passengers are still stranded at Sadhna Top.
Due to rain and snowfall in many parts of Jammu region, the power and water supply was badly affected since Saturday while, about half a dozen trains were delayed by 30 minutes to three hours due to fog and bad weather in the region.
Official sources said that at least two dozen passengers were stranded at Sadhna Top on Kupwara-Tanghdar road for last three days due to heavy snowfall. The road was closed on Friday after heavy snowfall in the area.

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Relatives of the stranded passengers led by the Station House Officer (SHO) Tanghdar, Nisar Ahmad, carried out the rescue operation this morning. They left Tangdar early morning and travelled around 17 kilometers on foot in snow to reach the spot where they were stranded.
They carried body of a woman who died near Sadhna Top on Friday due to cold and rescued 18 other passengers. These passengers travelled with the relatives and Police on foot to Tanghdar. However, around two dozen elderly, children and women were still stranded near Sadhna Top and they have been provided food and shelter in nearby Army camp.
Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Khalid Jahangir told Excelsior that as there was high danger avalanche warning in the area so Border Roads Organization couldn’t carry out snow clearance in the area. He said that some of the passengers have been rescued by Police with the help of their relatives and others are safe. He said that the rescue operation would be launched to rescue them tomorrow.
Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was re-opened for fresh traffic today. The traffic was allowed to ply from Jammu to Srinagar today. It would be allowed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu tomorrow. A Traffic official said that around 800 trucks were stranded at Qazigund and they would be cleared tomorrow besides the Light Motor Vehicles will be allowed to ply towards Jammu.
The air traffic was also resumed today giving relief to the people who were stranded in Srinagar and other places due to disruption in air traffic. It may be mentioned here that around half a dozen flights operated from Srinagar yesterday.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures did not drop significantly in Kashmir this morning. However, people in Srinagar city and other towns restrained from venturing out due to slippery roads. The temperature has also showed some improvement in Jammu and several other towns in the region today.
A Meteorological Department official has forecast an improvement in the weather from today till January 10.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius and the maximum of 6.3 degrees Celsius. Qazigund in South Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius and maximum of 2.4 degrees Celsius. Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in North Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.0 degrees Celsius and the maximum day temperature of the place was recorded at minus 2.0 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam, in South Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.9 degrees Celsius and the maximum day temperature of the place was recorded at 0.4 degrees Celsius.
Kargil recorded the night’s lowest temperature at minus 18.6 degrees Celsius while neighbouring Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius. The maximum day temperature at these two places was recorded at minus 4.0 degrees Celsius and minus 1.3 degrees Celsius respectively.
Meanwhile, higher reaches of entire Chenab region and whole Bhadarwah Sub Division has experienced fresh snowfall while plains were also experiencing moderate to heavy snowfall for the last two days due to which mercury dipped to the lowest level of the season so far and threw normal life out of gear in this high altitude area of the region.
Due to continuous snowfall for the past two days in Bhaderwah, authorities also suspended vehicular movement on Bhaderwah-Chamba and Bhaderwah-Basohli Roads.
When contacted, SP Bhaderwah Rajinder Singh said, “In view of slippery road conditions and avalanche threat, we have directed Border Road Organisation (BRO) not to allow any vehicle beyond village Nalthi on Bhaderwah-Basohli road while R&B authorities have been asked to restrict vehicular traffic on interstate Bhaderwah-Chamba road from Sartingal onwards due to continuous snowfall since last two days.”
As the mercury has dipped to minus digits in Bhaderwah, vendors were seen selling Jackets, Thermals and Kashmiri ‘Kangris’ in Bhaderwah town and other areas of Chenab Valley.
There has almost been a breakdown of electricity in majority of high altitude villages and people are facing drinking water scarcity as well. This problem has also been faced in Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Banihal, Poonch, Rajouri, Gool, Lati, Dudu-Basangatgarh, Mahore and Bani Machhedi in Jammu region. Even the power supply remained off in Jammu city for more than 6-8 hours resulting into suspension of water supply in many city localities.
From 1.5 feet to 4 feet snow was recorded in different areas of Bhaderwah valley and Bhalessa in district Doda as Chattar Gala on Bhaderwah-Basohli highway and Padri Gali on Bhaderwah-Chamba interstate road recorded 4 feet snow till 12 PM, while Bamlakhi received 2.5, Sharekhi 2.5 feet, Shankhoja 2.5 feet, Kota Top 2 feet, Thanalla 2 feet, Dhadhkai 1.5 feet, Khanni Top 1.5 feet, Guttasa 1.5 feet, Mathola 1.5 feet, Hanga 1.5 feet and Bhaderwah town received 3 inch snow.
Reports from Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Banihal and Gandoh including Padder, Marwah, Sinthan Top, Mughal Maidan, Dessa, Gurmal, Siraj, Tanta, Gandri, Kabbi, Neel Top, Mahu, Mangat, Kharri, Gandoh, Bhalessa, Jaie, Padri, Ashapati and other places indicated that these areas also received snowfall throwing normal life out of gear.
The entire region has been gripped under severe cold conditions after fresh snowfall and people mostly preferred to remain indoors due to chilly weather and wear woolen clothes, jackets and also lit ‘’Bhukharies’’ to protect themselves and their toddlers in the severe cold climate. The MeT Department has predicted improvement in the weather from today evening.
Even though Trikuta hills of Mata Vaishnodevi received heavy snowfall, yet pilgrims continued their journey to Bhawan smoothly. Bhawan-Bhairon Ghati, Sanji Chhat and Himkoti in Trikuta Hills received a few inches snow. Despite snowfall, over 20,000 pilgrims were on their way to Shrine, a Shrine Board official said. Helicopter and cable car services have also been resumed after brief halt today. Patnitop and Natha Top received heavy inflow of tourists on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy snowfall.