Rains in plains, snowfall on hills
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Dec 11: Continuous rain across the State since Sunday and fresh snowfall on the higher reaches in Kashmir and parts of Jammu region, further brought sharp fall in the temperature while Jammu-Srinagar Leh National Highway and Mughal Road have been closed for traffic.
A large number of vehicles were stranded at many places along Jammu- Srinagar National Highway and Leh road while movement of the vehicles on Mughal Road from Poonch in Jammu region and Shopian side in Kashmir was stopped last evening. Due to fresh snow fall in Jawahar Tunnel area this afternoon, the movement of vehicles was stopped on the highway this afternoon. The chopper service to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine also remained suspended through out the day today due to bad weather.
Reports from Srinagar said that higher reaches received fresh overnight snowfall and Valley had rains, the Meteorological (MeT) department today said that the weather conditions in the Valley will significantly improve from tomorrow evening.
A MeT official said that the higher reaches of Kashmir including famous tourist destinations, Gulmarg and Sonamarg received a fresh snowfall of 5-6 inches today. The snowfall was also witnessed in Pir Ki Gali on Mughal Road and Jawahar Tunnel ahead of Banihal today.
Superintendent of Police Traffic, Rural Kashmir, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, said that Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed this afternoon after heavy snowfall in the Jawahar Tunnel area. He said that the traffic was closed on the highway and around 800 vehicles which were near the Jawahar Tunnel and brought back to Qazigund as the road ahead was slippery.
Shah said that Srinagar-Leh National Highway was also closed last evening after freak weather and forecast of snowfall. He said that it snowed heavily in the area and the highway has been closed for the traffic.
The MeT official said that the weather conditions in the Valley would start improving in the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday and there would be significant improvement in weather conditions from Tuesday.
The official said there would be further dip in the night temperature after two days while as the day temperature will show improvement.
The official said that there is no prediction of rains or snow till December 18.
With the snowfall and rains, the minimum temperatures rose above the freezing point in Srinagar after 10 days due to night-long cloud cover today.
The minimum temperatures in Kargil, Leh, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar were minus 8.7 degrees Celsius, minus 7.4, minus 6.0, 0.3 and 2.4, respectively. Jammu city recorded 10.8 degrees Celsius, Katra 10.2, Batote 6.1, Banihal 5.5 and Bhaderwah 4.7 as the night’s lowest temperatures.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan today said that Divisional Administration is fully prepared and ready to deal with any kind of weather eventuality.
He said that after receiving weather advisory from MeT and keeping in mind the inclement weather conditions, Government had prepared a zone and location wise action and management plan across the Valley to prevent any kind of interruption in services due to the bad weather.
“Zonal teams from concerned departments have been constituted to meet any exigency during the inclement weather period. Joint control rooms have been set up in every zone that will be monitored by the main control room established at every Deputy Commissioner’s office to review daily operations. Men and Machinery are in ready to tackle any kind of eventuality. Essential Commodities and medicines were already stocked in far-flung and cut off areas”, he said.
People residing in far-flung and avalanche prone areas are advised to pay heed the weather advisories seriously, which are issued by the Divisional Commissioner’s office from time to time.
With the continuous rain since yesterday in Jammu, water logging has hit the smooth movement of traffic in the winter capital city. There has been sharp decline in the temperature in plains of Jammu region.
Trikuta hills of Mata Vaishnodevi, Natha Top area in Patnitop belt and higher reaches of Bhaderwah, Doda, Kishtwar, Dudu- Basantgarh, Reasi, Rajouri and Poonch also experienced fresh snow fall today. At Peer- Ki- Gali on Mughal Road heavy snowfall has been witnessed. However, the major roads in Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri-Poonch were clear. He said due to closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the movement of vehicles has been stopped at Nagrota, Udhampur and Ramban. Over 1000 vehicles including most of them load carriers have been stranded at these places, an official spokesman said.