Fog engulfs Kashmir, all flights cancelled

Dense fog in Srinagar on Sunday. — Excelsior Shakeel
Dense fog in Srinagar on Sunday. — Excelsior Shakeel

Sgr-Leh NH, Mughal Road open for one way traffic

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Dec 8: Fog engulfed Kashmir for the third consecutive day today leading to cold weather conditions and poor visibility due to which all flights at Srinagar Airport were cancelled for second consecutive day.
Dense foggy conditions prevailed in Kashmir today with visibility at Srinagar Airport falling below 600 metres forcing the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to cancel all the flights that were scheduled for today.
This is the third consecutive day that the flight operations were affected at Srinagar Airport. Yesterday not a single flight landed or took off from Srinagar Airport and 11 flights were cancelled on Friday due to fog.
Hundreds of passengers had reached the airport and were waiting for the fog to clear but had to return to Srinagar as visibility didn’t improve at the airport. Majority of the passengers were given the next tickets for 15th of December as the fog is likely to continue till 10th of December and this will be followed by snowfall.
The foggy conditions in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir were much severe today as it persisted throughout the day. It led to poor visibility for the fourth consecutive day today.
The vehicles in Kashmir were plying at snail’s pace throughout the day. Majority of the people preferred to stay indoors due to sub-zero temperatures. The vehicles had their lights on to avoid accidents.
The Weatherman has forecast foggy conditions to continue till 10th of December. They are caused due to dry and cold weather condition and absence of enough windy conditions to lift the fog up.
And Srinagar-Leh National Highway was thrown open for one-way traffic today after remaining closed for 16 days. The highway was re-opened after Border Roads Organization (BRO) cleared snow from Zojila by working in freezing temperatures and high velocity winds.
A Traffic Police official said that 393 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) were allowed from Kargil by the administration and all of these vehicles crossed and reached Gangangir. Scores of labourers were stranded in Kargil for last two weeks and administration boarded them in 32 vehicles. They were dropped at Ganganghir where from they boarded vehicles.
There are around 250 trucks in Kargil that are stranded there and may be allowed to cross towards Srinagar tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Mughal Road which connects Kashmir with Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu region today opened for one-way traffic. The arterial road link was closed due to heavy snowfall at Pir Panjal and thrown opened for vehicular movement.
IGP Traffic, J&K, Alok Kumar said that after green nod by the concerned Traffic Police officials in Poonch and Shopian last evening, the Mughal Road which was closed for the last more than one week was today declared opened. He said over 100 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) from Shopian side were allowed to move towards Rajouri and Poonch this morning. The IG said from tomorrow, movement of Light Motor Vehicles from both the sides will be allowed whereas, heavy vehicles will move from Rajouri-Poonch side tomorrow.
District Development Commissioner, Shopian Choudhary Mohammad Yasin (IAS) said that the vehicular movement will give a sigh of relief to the locals, particularly the traders’ community of both the Regions with the opening of this road.
“This road not only gives a flip to economic activity but has a significant social impact in all the areas that are connected by this vital road connectivity,” DDC said.
The DDC who took on the spot review of the road condition this morning, said that authorities looking after the Mughal Road were directed to speed up the restoration work on damaged road stretches so that people are benefitted from this important road communication.