Jammu-Sgr NH reopens for traffic, Valley receives fresh snowfall

Srinagar receives another fresh bout of snowfall on Saturday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Srinagar receives another fresh bout of snowfall on Saturday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Kmr records lowest day temp of 1.7, Jammu’s temp drops

Fayaz Bukhari/Gopal Sharma
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Feb 3: Vehicular movement on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway resumed today after remaining suspended for two days following multiple landslides triggered by heavy rains and snowfall in Ramban and Banihal areas while Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir received fresh snowfall, leading to fall in temperature across the region, with Srinagar recording season’s lowest day temperature at 1.7 degree Celsius.

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The Traffic Police department has advised commuters to follow lane discipline and drive cautiously as part of the arterial road near Sherbibi in Banihal area of Ramban district is single-lane and also slippery at a number of places.
The traffic on the 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was suspended on Thursday morning, after the road was damaged by a landslide at Kishtwari Pather near Sherbibi, in Banihal Sub Division leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on both sides.
The snowfall also left the road slippery at various places between Ramban -Banihal and Qazigund , while several landslides triggered by rains blocked the road at Magerkote, Panthial, Mehar, Cafeteria Morh and Dalwas.
After hectic efforts, the National Highway authorities cleared the debris and allowed stranded vehicles to move towards their respective destinations late Friday afternoon, paving the resumption of normal traffic from both sides this morning, a Traffic official said.
The official further said that Srinagar-Leh highway and the Mughal Road connecting the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with Shopian in Kashmir are still blocked due to heavy snowfall.
A MeT official said that light to moderate snow over higher reaches of Pirpanjal Range and Chenab Valley with heavy snowfall over isolated higher reaches of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts of Jammu region are expected till Sunday night.
He further predicting moderate to heavy snowfall over the next 48 hours, eight districts of Jammu and Kashmir received avalanche warning on Saturday and Sunday.
The Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority (JKDMA) said avalanche with medium danger level is likely to occur above 2,400 metres over districts of Bandipora, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kupwara in Kashmir and Doda, Poonch and Ramban in Jammu region in the next 24 hours.
People living in these areas are advised to take precautions and avoid venturing out into areas prone to avalanche, JKDMA added.
The snowfall in Kashmir was said to be under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance that affected Jammu and Kashmir today.
Sadhna Top has received a snowfall of more than 10 inches today while Gulmarg and famous ski-resort recorded four inches of fresh snowfall today.
In Gurez, 4-6 inches of fresh snowfall were recorded today while some other parts including Zojila, Sonamarg, and adjoining areas also recorded several inches of snowfall.
More than half a foot of fresh snowfall was recorded at Razdan Pass.
Director Meteorological department (MeT), Dr Mukhtar Ahmad told Excelsior said that there is a possibility of light to moderate snow and rain at many places till February 4 evening with chances of heavy snowfall over isolated higher reaches.
“Middle and higher reaches of North, Northwestern and South Kashmir may receive 8-12 inches of snow, lower reaches and plains may receive 3-6 inches, while plains of Central Kashmir may receive rain with 1-2 inches of snow,” he said.
“On February 5, the weather is expected to remain partly to generally cloudy with possibility of light snow over isolated higher reaches. From February 06-13, the weather is expected to remain dry,” he said.
With the fresh spell of snowfall, the maximum temperature has plummeted across the region with Srinagar recording 1.7 degree Celsius today which was 7.2 degree Celsius below normal; Qazigund recorded 3.2 degree which is 5.3 degree Celsius below normal; Pahalgam 0.2 degree, 5.4 degree below normal; Kupwara 1.1 degree, 7.4 degree below normal 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.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 1.7°C against minus 0.3°C on previous night; Qazigund minus 5.4°C against minus 9.4°C the previous night; Pahalgam minus 8.3°C against minus 11.9°C the previous night; Kokernag minus 5.4°C against minus 9.4°C the previous night; Kupwara a low of minus 2.4°C against minus 4.4°C the previous night while Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 10.6°C against minus 12.0°C the previous night and the temperature was below normal by 3.0°C for the skiing resort.
The winter capital Jammu experienced a sharp fall in day temperature today. The City recorded a day temperature of 13.6 degree C against yesterday’s temperature of 19.9. It was 7.3 degrees below normal. The night temperature, however, remained 7.8 deg C against previous night’s 5.7 deg C on Saturday.
Katra town recorded a maximum temperature of 11.8 and minimum 6.0 degree, Bhaderwah a day temp of 7.4 and night temperature -0.5, Batote maximum 5.8 and minimum 0.3 while highway township Banihal recorded a day temperature of 5.7 deg and night temperature of -0.8 degree Celsius on Saturday.
Meanwhile, an official at Jammu Airport said that six flights were delayed due to bad weather and poor visibility while one Vistara flight was cancelled for Srinagar and diverted to Delhi due to bad weather. He said three SpiceJet, two Air India and one Vistara flights were delayed at Jammu due to bad weather in the region.