Jammu-Sgr NH partially restored; stranded vehicles cleared

Light vehicles moving slowly on slippery road due to heavy snowfall at Qazigund on Friday. — Excelsior/Sajad Dar
Light vehicles moving slowly on slippery road due to heavy snowfall at Qazigund on Friday. — Excelsior/Sajad Dar

Severe cold in South Kashmir, temp drops to -17

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR/JAMMU, Feb 2: The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has been partially restored for vehicular traffic while south Kashmir was under the grip of severe cold.
A senior Traffic police official said that the traffic on the highway was restored at around 3 pm today after restoration work was completed at various places and stranded vehicles were cleared first. The trucks had been stranded at Banihal, Seri, Ramban, Ramsu and Nashri area. They were cleared first.

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Later, the Light motor vehicles and other Tempo Travellers stranded at Qazigund and Udhampur area were also allowed to move. The road at Sherbibi near Banihal where highway had been badly damaged was still single. No fresh traffic from Jammu or Srinagar side was allowed.
“Commuters are advised to drive cautiously, as part of the road near Sherbibi is single lane and also slippery at a number of places”, the official said.
Kashmir valley was cut off by surface transport with the rest of the country for the second consecutive day on Friday due to the closure of the highway amid snowfall and shooting of stones at several places.
The restoration work was undertaken at Kishtwari Pather, Sherbibi, Magerkote, T-2 point , Mehar, Cafeteria Morh and Dalwas to make it traffic worthy.
Mughal road connecting south Kashmir’s Shopian district with the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu division and the strategic Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri (SSG) road connecting Ladakh also remained closed for the last three days due to accumulation of snow.
Reports of closure of several roads connecting far flung areas in north Kashmir due to snowfall were also received. However, snow clearance operations have been launched at various places to make the roads traffic worthy. He said Kishwar-Sinthon-Anantnag and Bhaderwah-Bani-Basohli road were also still closed, due to heavy snowfall.
The chopper service at Mata Vaishnodevi from basecamp Katra was today restored as it was clear weather today.
Meanwhile, a severe cold wave swept through South Kashmir today with Larnoo area in Kokernag emerging as the coldest, recording a bone-chilling temperature of minus 17.7°C, closely followed by Sonamarg at minus 15.1°C.
Larnoo area in Kokernag, Anantnag was the coldest in Kashmir at -17.7°C today.
Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 9.4°C against minus 0.4°C on the previous night. The minimum temperature was 7.3°C below normal for the town.
The lowest minimum temperature in Qazigund in February in at-least during the last decade, surpassing minus 9.0°C recorded on 9th of February 2019.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 11.9°C against minus 4.1°C on the previous night and it was 5.8°C below normal for the resort. It was 3rd lowest temperature for Pahalgam in the last 10 years after minus 12.6°C and minus 12.7°C on 2nd and 9th of February 2020 and 2019 respectively. The all-time lowest minimum temperature for Pahalgam during February was minus 17.2°C in February 1984.
Kokernag recorded a minimum of minus 9.4°C against 1.4°C on the previous night and the temperature was below normal by 7.0°C for the place. It was the second lowest minimum temperature since 2014 in Kokernag with the previous lowest of minus 9.5 recorded on 1 February 2021 and all-time record of minus 12.3°C on 22-02-1984.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.3°C against 0.2°C on the previous night and it was 0.4°C above normal for the city for this time of the year.
Kupwara town recorded a low of minus 4.4°C against 0.7°C on the previous night and it was 2.1°C below normal there.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 12.0°C against minus 7.6°C on the previous night and the temperature was below normal by 4.4°C for the skiing resort. It equalled 3rd lowest minimum temperature for last ten years in February as minus 13.5°C on 12-02 last year, minus 12.0°C on 4-02-2022 and minus 12.2°C on February Ist, 2020 while the all-time record of minus 18.0°C on 04-02-1968.
With snowfall, the day temperatures across Kashmir plummeted below normal.
Srinagar recorded a maximum of 6.0 degree Celsius temperature today which was 2.9 degree Celsius below normal, Qazigund 7.0 degree Celsius, Pahalgam 2.8 degree Celsius, Kupwara a maximum of 5.6 degree Celsius, Kokernag 4.3 degree while Gulmarg recorded a maximum of minus 4.0 degree Celsius which is 5.4 degree Celsius below normal for the place during this time of the year.
Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 19.9 degrees Celsius and minimum 5.7 degrees, Katra town maximum 15.8 and minimum 1.6, Bhaderwah maximum 7.2 and minimum -5.2 while Banihal town maximum 7.6 and minimum -6.8 degrees C temperature today.
A Meteorological department official said, weather is expected to be generally dry with possibility of very light snow at isolated higher reaches. He said that from February 3-4, there is a possibility of light to moderate snow and rain in Jammu area, From February 5-12, generally dry weather is expected.