Jammu-Sgr NH, Leh road closed; over 1000 vehicles stranded

*MeT forecasts rain, heavy snowfall

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Nov 14: After rain, snowfall and landslides, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and Srinagar- Leh road have been closed for traffic while Metereological Department has predicted heavy snowfall in Kashmir and parts of Jammu, which will lead to further drop in temperature in the region.
The Director Metereological Department, Sonam Lotus, told Excelsior that there will be heavy snowfall in the hills of Kashmir and light snowfall in the Valley. He said that Srinagar may record 2-3 inches of snowfall in next 48 hours.
Lotus said that snowfall will start by tonight and it will continue till Saturday. “The main activity will, however, be tomorrow”, he added.
He said that temperature during this period will drop by 5-6 notches. The temperature in Srinagar can drop upto minus 1 degree Celsius.
Kashmir valley received season’s first snowfall last week bringing down temperatures and snapped the communication link and power supply.
Keeping in view the weather forecast, the administration issued avalanche warning for the hills of Kashmir. People living in the avalanche prone areas of Kashmir have been asked not to venture out.
Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley received light rainfall since last night while upper reaches fresh light snowfall. The rainfall led to drop in the temperatures across the region. Gusty winds were blowing across Kashmir today making people to shiver.
It was snowing in Zojila this morning. It later stopped and the Border Roads Organization cleared the snow and traffic was allowed to ply from Kargil to Srinagar. Around 400 vehicles crossed to Sonamarg and the road was closed as it started snowing in Sonamarg this evening.
Meanwhile, major landslide struck the Jammu- Srinagar National Highway at Digdole near Ramban at around 8.45 pm tonight, leading to the closure of highway second time during past 12 hours. Over 1000 heavy vehicles and nearly 400 light vehicles said to have been stranded on both sides of the highway in Ramban and Banihal sector.
IGP Traffic, Alok Kumar said that massive land slide at Digdol has blocked the highway. It is raining and the shooting stones also continued at the slide site. Due to darkness and danger to the lives of machine operators, it will not be advisable to press the men at restoration task. He said tomorrow morning, the restoration work will be launched.
IG further said during the day over 2000 trucks were cleared towards Jammu from Kashmir side. Many light vehicles on both sides also moved smoothly during the day. Due to land slides at Bhoom near Chanderkote also during the day, the movement of vehicles remained disrupted for more than two hours. However, the highway was restored around 6 pm. It was blocked again at Digdole at around 8.45 pm, he added.
The IG said the traffic on Srinagar- Leh road has also been stopped due to snowfall in Zojila area while, Tangdhar, Keran, Gurez and Mughal Roads are already closed for the last about one week due to snowfall.
Due to cloudy day and light rain in the hilly areas of Jammu region, sharp drop in the temperature has been experienced. The MeT has predicted further drop in Jammu’s temperature during next two days.