Fresh snowfall disrupts air traffic in Valley, 6 flights cancelled in Jammu

White blanket drapes after fresh snowfall in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel
White blanket drapes after fresh snowfall in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Dense fog engulfs Jammu, temp goes down

Fayaz Bukhari/Gopal Sharma

SRINAGAR /JAMMU, Jan 9: Temperature plummeted across Valley while fresh snowfall in Kashmir disrupted air traffic, the winter capital city witnessed sharp decline in day temperature due to dense fog for the last couple of days, six flights were cancelled at Jammu airport due to poor visibility and snow at Srinagar airport.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway witnessed massive traffic jam in Udhampur, Chenani and Ramban sectors as the authorities cleared all the stranded vehicles on both the sides. No fresh movement of vehicles from Jammu or Srinagar side was allowed today by the Traffic Police authorities.

Click here to watch video
Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall today disrupting air traffic and leading to brief closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at Jawhar Tunnel axis.
Then people in Kashmir woke to another snowy morning today with 2-3 inches snowfall witnessed across Kashmir. In some places, it was snowing intermittently through out the day while in other places it stopped snowing at around 10 am.
The fresh snowfall caused slippery road conditions across Kashmir. The vehicular movement was restricted today as people preferred to stay home to avoid any inconvenience. However, later in the afternoon, with improvement in weather traffic movement increased.
Deputy Director MeT Srinagar, Dr Mukthar said that there is no forecast of any major snowfall and the weather is likely to remain mainly dry till January 17.
The fresh snowfall also affected the air traffic in Valley as flight operations got disrupted again at the Srinagar airport.
All the flights till 2 pm could not land and later the airport resumed the flight operations. Out of 27 flights only 6 flights landed and took off from Srinagar Airport and remaining were cancelled.
Director Airport Authority Jammu, PR Beoria said that due to fresh snowfall at Srinagar airport and dense fog during morning hours in Jammu, six flights were today cancelled while four flights delayed. He said the visibility, however, improved after 11.30 am.
Srinagar-Jammu National Highway continued to remain closed for fresh traffic movement in view of heavy snowfall and slippery road conditions. However, stranded vehicles were allowed to move.
Earlier, after remaining closed for five days Traffic Authorities had allowed stranded essential supply vehicles from Jammu to Kashmir, which included petroleum and gas products.
“We have only allowed the essential supplies vehicles towards Valley which were stranded at Udhampur sector, which includes petroleum products,” an official of the Traffic Control Room said.
A Traffic official said that no general traffic movement was allowed on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. Only stranded vehicles which included essential supplies were allowed to move towards the Valley. He said that 5000 essential supply vehicles were allowed to move towards Valley during last two days.
“Subject to fair weather and better road condition, Light Motor Vehicles will be allowed from Jammu towards Srinagar tomorrow.
A Meteorological department official said the minimum temperatures plunged across the Valley with Gulmarg recording a low of minus 10.0 degree Celsius, same as the previous night.
Against minus 0.4 degree Celsius previous night, Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.0 degree Celsius while mercury settled at minus 5.1 degree Celsius in Pahalgam against 3.3 degree Celsius on the earlier night, minus 2.8 degree Celsius in Qazigund against 1.8 degree Celsius on the previous night, minus 5.4 degree Celsius against 1.7 degree Celsius on previous night in Kupwara and minus 4.5 degree Celsius against 1.6 degree Celsius on previous night.
The temperature in Jammu experienced sharp decline with the creation of envelop of dense fog all around for the last two days. The day as well and night temperatures in Jammu has witnessed sharp fall.
Kashmir is in the middle of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and will end on January 31. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). The Weatherman has forecast mainly dry weather with a possibility of isolated very light rain and snow for the next 24 hours.
Reports from Ramban and Udhampur said that massive traffic jam was witnessed for over 3-4 hours during the day in these two sectors as many Light Motor Vehicles managed to reach there despite warning by the Traffic Police authorities. In Udhampur area, the people remained caught in the jam for hours. Later, District Administration deployed local police to assist Traffic police authorities to clear the jam.
In Ramban sector also, the massive traffic jam was witnessed as at many land sliding zones, the road is still single and movement of LMVs added to the chaos on the highway. Thoughout the day, the vehicles were found moving at snails pace. The traffic and local police authorities had tough time to control traffic on the busy highway.
Amid ongoing harsh winters, the District Administration under the supervision of District Development Commissioner Doda, Dr Sagar Doifode is pressing hard to ensure timely restoration of the roads, essential services across the district.
The restoration process laid down by the District Administration has ensured timely restoration of all the roads and essential services especially in the peripheries and far flung areas of the district.
In Gandoh Sub Division, the local administration, following the directions of DDC Doda, has restored almost all the roads and ensured to and fro movement of vehicles. No shortage of essential commodities has been reported from the locals of the area. At Gurmul, the men and machinery are also on the toes to clear the stones thus reducing the threat to the human lives.
The locals as well as the PRI members have extended gratitude to the District Administration for putting in place in advance restoration mechanism across the district, so that the locals shall not face any inconveniences during the ongoing harsh winters.