Higher reaches of J&K experience fresh snowfall, rains in plains

Taking umbrella cover, women moving amidst rain in Bhaderwah town on Friday. Another pic on page 6. — Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Taking umbrella cover, women moving amidst rain in Bhaderwah town on Friday. Another pic on page 6. — Excelsior/Tilak Raj

Traffic movement disrupted on NH

Schools closed for 2 days in Doda, Kishtwar
Gopal Sharma /
Fayaz Bukhari
JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Mar 1: The high altitude areas of Kashmir and Jammu regions recorded fresh snowfall, while the plains including the winter capital city were lashed by rains on Friday, resulting in appreciable drop in the temperature.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained open for one-way traffic despite rains while a landslide blocked Batote-Kishtwar highway near Pakki Hatti. The winter vacation in schools, which were supposed to open in the winter zone of Jammu region including Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban on March 1, was extended by two days in view of the prediction of heavy snowfall and avalanche warnings by the administration.
“In an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of students, Deputy Commissioner Doda Harvinder Singh has directed the closure of all educational institutions, both Government and private, for two days across the district. However, the practical examinations will be conducted as per schedule,” an official said.

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He said the class work in all the schools of winter zone of Jammu province was supposed to resume from March 1 after two-and-a-half month winter vacation, but the schools will now reopen on March 4.
The Meteorological department said widespread moderate rain or snow is expected over most places of the Union Territory till March 3 with peak activity on March 1 night to March 2 night.
“Few places may experience heavy to very heavy snow particularly over higher reaches of north, central and south Kashmir and Pir Panjal range of Jammu division during this period.
“The plains of Kashmir may receive moderate rain or snow while the plains of Jammu may receive moderate rain with a possibility of heavy rain over Ramban, Udhampur and Reasi districts. Few places may experience thunder, lightning or hailstorms accompanied by gusty winds,” it said.

A woman moves on a Jammu road during rain on Friday.— Excelsior/Rakesh
A woman moves on a Jammu road during rain on Friday.
— Excelsior/Rakesh

A Traffic police official said that one-way traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was moving smoothly despite rains. But there was disruption for half an hour at Kishtwari Pather near Banihal and Hingni area of Ramban during the day due to landslide. The single road was restored at these points.
The traffic on the highway was restricted to one-way since February 26 and is plying alternatively from Srinagar and Jammu after heavy rains and snowfall rendered the arterial road damaged at several places including Dalwas, Mehad, Cafeteria Morh, Gangroo, Hingni and Kishtwari Pather.
The officials said the efforts are on to resume two-way traffic on the highway as early as possible.
Traffic was stopped on Jammu-Batote-Kishtwar highway following a landslide triggered by rains at Pakki Hatti near Kishtwar. The concerned agencies pressed men and machinery to make the highway trafficable after brief blockade of nearly three hours.
Meanwhile, amid relentless and heavy rainfall in plains and fresh snowfall in higher reaches, district administration in J&K’s Doda has taken a precautionary step by announcing the closure of all educational institutions across the hilly district for two days. This decision has been prompted by the challenging weather conditions that have gripped the region and a warning of possible snow avalanches issued by Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority), an official said.
Reports from Katra said that it was raining at Katra Mata Vaishnodevi but the onfoot pilgrimage continued. The chopper service from base camp Katra to Himkoti near Bhawan remained suspended on Friday due to bad weather. The battery car operation also remained suspended during the day for several hours amidst rain.
Reports from Srinagar said intermittent light rains lashed plains of Kashmir while the higher reaches including Gulmarg experienced a fresh snowfall today with the weatherman forecasting heavy snowfall over higher reaches from tonight.
The Meteorological department forecast a three-day wet spell from today, stating that the peak activity will be on March 1 night to March 2 night.
Several parts of Kashmir including Gurez, Gulmarg, Sadhna Top, Razdan Pass, Chowkibal Kupwara and Machil received snowfall today. However, the intermittent light rains lashed plains of Kashmir including Srinagar.
It has been raining tonight heavily in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir while it is snowing heavily in the hills.
Director Meteorological Department, Dr Mukhar Ahmad told Excelsior that widespread moderate rain and snow is expected over most places of J&K till March 3 (afternoon) with peak activity on 1st night to 2nd night of March. He said that few places may experience heavy to very heavy snow particularly over higher reaches of north Kashmir, Central and South Kashmir and Pirpanjal range of Jammu division during 1st March night to 2nd March late night.
A few places may experience thunder, lightning, hailstorm accompanied by gusty winds (30-40 KMPH) during 1st & 2nd March, he said, adding that no significant weather activity thereafter till March 10 is expected. However, he said that there is a possibility of light rain and snow at scattered places during the night of March 6 and 7. “The weather will remain dry after that till March 10”, he added.
In this regard, the weatherman has issued an advisory, saying that in view of heavy to very heavy snowfall over few middle and higher reaches, the travelers, tourists are advised to plan accordingly and follow administration, traffic police advisory.
“General public over hilly areas are advised not to venture in avalanche prone and sloppy areas. Follow avalanche warnings and advisories,” the advisory read, adding that there are chances of landslides, mudslides and shooting stones at few places.