JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Jan 25: The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed last night due to heavy rain and landslides in Ramban area while a truck operator was killed and two others injured when two vehicles were hit by boulders in Maggarkote area last night.
Several morning flights got delayed at Srinagar Airport today as Kashmir received fresh snowfall disrupting the normal life. It has been snowing since last evening in the hills of Kashmir while there was intermittent rains and snowfall across the Valley.
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An official of Traffic department said the shooting stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, at several places between Ramban and Banihal forced closure of road.
The shooting stones were triggered by heavy rains at Mehar, Maggarkote, Cafeteria Morh and Panthyal during last night and early hours today. This led to suspension of traffic movement on the road.
The Police said a helper of truck driver was killed and two others injured when a truck No. JK18-A/6968 and an oil tanker No. JK02BL/8177 were hit by rolling boulders at Magarkot during in the early hours today. The body of the deceased was shifted to the mortuary of Ramban Hospital while the injured who were travelling in the tanker were evacuated to Ramsu hospital, the police said.
The deceased was identified as Muneed Ahmed of Kulgam in Kashmir. The injured were also later shifted to GMC Anantnag.
It was still raining heavily in Ramban sector, while most parts of Banihal and Kashmir valley experienced snowfall this morning. The highway at Panthyal was cleared during mid day and some LMVs were cleared towards Banihal but again the highway was blocked at 2-3 places and it was still blocked when the last reports came in around 10 pm tonight and there was no hope of road restoration till tomorrow morning, an official at Ramban said.
The weather office has forecast heavy snowfall over middle and higher reaches and rains in plains for the day.
In view of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the traffic department had issued a detailed advisory to ensure hassle-free vehicular movement on the highway and avoid any unnecessary inconvenience to the people. The department had declared the Yatra route from Batti-Maitra-forest Check Post road as a “no traffic zone” and also advised people of Ramban town and adjoining areas not to park any vehicle on the road during the foot march.
Meanwhile, fresh snowfall has been reported from Bhderwah, Patnitop, Banihal and parts of Kishtwar, Doda, Poonch, Udhampur and Rajouri besides Bani area of Kathua. Due to snowfall, Thanna-Bafliaz road at Dera Gali and several other link roads in these hilly areas have been closed.
Reports from Kashmir said Affarwat mountains of Gulmarg received 5.5 feet of snow, Kangdori 5 feet, Gulmarg 4 feet, Babareshi 2 feet, Tangmarg 1.5 feet, Machil 1.5 feet, Sadnatop 2 feet, Furkia top 2 feet, Gurez 9 inches, Tulail one feet, Razdan Top 2 feet, Tral 2 inches, Aripal Tral 6 inches, Pampore one inch, Awantipora one inch, Pulwama 1.5 inches, Rajpora 4 inches, Achgooza 6 inches, Keller 8 inches, Shopian town 6 inches, Herpora one feet, Sedow one feet, Aharbal one feet, Anantnag 4 inches, Kokernag 6 inches, Pahalgam 1.5 feet, Srinagar one inch, Budgam 2 inches and higher reaches of Budgam 4-6 inches.
The snowfall at many places led to slippery conditions forcing people to stay indoors.
Several flights got delayed in the wee hours of this morning due to low visibility. However, Director Srinagar Airport, Kuldeep Singh said that the light operation was later resumed.
Under the influence of Western Disturbance, the intensity of snowfall increased since last evening following which the majority of areas received fresh snowfall while the plains received rainfall.
Meanwhile, the Director Meteorological department said that there is a possibility of a brief snow spell tomorrow while the weather conditions would remain mostly dry on January 27 and 28.
He added that light to moderate snowfall is expected on January 29-30 as a fresh Western Disturbance is affecting J&K on particular date.
Meanwhile, Srinagar recorded a low of 0.0°C against last night’s minus 2.3°C. Today’s minimum temperature is above normal by 2.3°C for the city.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 0.2°C against minus 0.2°C on the previous night and it was 3.7°C above normal for the town.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 2.6°C against minus 8.8°C on the previous night and it was 4.9°C above normal for the tourist resort.
Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.7°C against minus 3.5°C on the previous night and it was 2.9°C above normal for the place.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 4.6°C against minus 9.6°C on the previous night and it was 3.6°C above normal for the skiing resort.
In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 0.6°C against minus 3.4°C on the previous night and it was normal for the town.
Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 11.5°C and minus 9.5°C respectively, the official said.