Snowfall cuts off Valley
Highway Closed, Flights Cancelled
Srinagar, Jan 14: Kashmir Valley received another spell of snowfall on Friday resulting in closure of the Srinagar-Jammu Highway and cancellation of all flights from the Srinagar Airport. The weatherman forecast heavy to moderate downpour for next 48 hours.
“The entire Valley is receiving snowfall today,” said head of the Disaster Management Cell, Amir Ali.
A weather official at Meteorological Department here said the western disturbance, a phenomena bringing snowfall, was active in Kashmir. “Moderate to heavy snowfall will continue across the Valley for next 48 hours,” he said.
While the higher altitude areas including Pirpanjal range and border areas continued to receive downpour from late last evening, the summer capital Srinagar and other major towns like Islamabad (Anantnag) and Baramulla experienced snowfall early this morning, much to delight of people.
“Around 1 foot snow has accumulated in Shopian district of South Kashmir, it is around five to nine inch in other districts,” Ali said.
The change in weather was much awaited news for winter sports loving people and State Tourism Department which is banking on heavy snowfall to have a rich sports season.
Known for winter sports, the ski-resort of Gulmarg had received 1-foot snow and the downpour was continuing there till late evening. It was snowing in other hill resorts including Yusmarg and Pahalgam, officials said.
Road connectivity to the border towns of Keran and Tangdhar in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district was snapped Friday morning after over two feet of snow had accumulated on Sadna Top connecting the border areas with rest of the valley. However, fresh snowfall resulted in a positive change in mercury, giving respite to people from chilling cold.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar was two degrees above normal while in ski resort of Gulmarg and Pahalgam the sub zero temperature had dropped to minus 8 and minus 4 degrees in Pahalgam.
Ladakh and Kargil continue to freeze under extreme weather conditions. It was minus 20 degrees in Leh and minus 15 in Kargil town of the Ladakh region.
Heavy snowfall at number of places including Banihal Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway from Kashmir side forced closure of any kind of vehicular movement. “It was taken as a precautionary measure after road turned slippery,” Ali said. Due to drop in visibility, all flights operating to and from the Valley were cancelled for today early morning.
As usual the snowfall brought along the routine problems for the Valleyites--the road and air communication to and from Kashmir got halted and a threat was looming on continuation of the routine facilities including power, water supply and others.
Authorities, however, said men and machinery were geared up to face any kind of eventuality. “We have sent the required snow clearing machines to different districts. Apart from the main control room here, all district Disaster Management Cells have been activated to face any kind of eventuality,” Ali said.
Kashmir Valley is in the grip of 40 days long harsh winter period locally called Chillai Kalaan, which ends on January 30.
GKNN ADDS FROM JAMMU:
Normal life on Friday came to a grinding halt across Jammu region after the higher reaches experienced fresh snowfall following incessant rains since early morning.
For the first time this winter, vehicular movement on Jammu-Doda road was suspended due to slippery conditions and heavy snowfall.
Rains also affected the air traffic as all the Srinagar-bound flights from Jammu were cancelled. All Srinagar bound flights were cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Two Srinagar-bound flights from Delhi (Indigo and Go Air) along with Leh bound flight of Indian Airlines from Delhi remained grounded at Jammu Airport for hours together.
The Srinagar-bound flights were diverted to Delhi while Indian Airlines flight went to Leh. “When these three flights were grounded at Jammu Airport, a Spicejet flight remained in air for hour over the Airport and it returned to Delhi due to non-availability of space. It came back to Jammu Airport at around 3:00 p.m,” sources said.
Official sources said that over 600 vehicles including passenger buses and cars were stranded on highway.
“There were 50-60 passenger vehicles in Banihal, 10 in Ramban and 100 between Chenani to Udhampur on the highway. Besides over 400 other commercial vehicles also struck on highway following slippery conditions between Patnitop to Jawahar Tunnel,” sources added.
Sources maintained that Jawahar Tunnel and Qazigund areas on highway received fresh snowfall following continuous rainfall. “The fresh snowfall led to slippery road conditions which forced the authorities to close the highway while Doda-Patnitop road link was also closed due to slippery condition. Patnitop hill resort also experienced fresh snowfall while upper reaches of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts witnessed light to moderate snowfall.”
Sources said about 100 vehicles including load carriers and passenger buses were stranded on Doda-Patnitop road link.
Official sources said most of the trains were running several hours behind schedule, subjecting thousands of passengers to great hardships.
Similarly, incessant rains also kept people indoors in Jammu with educational institutions and government offices witnessing thin attendance.
The rehearsals for grand function to be celebrated at MA Stadium on January 26 were also suspended for whole day, owing to bad weather conditions.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
- Centre planning forces cut in JK
- We don't feel the need yet: Army Chief
- Mixed response from separatist, mainstream leaders
- Malik seeks COI into 117 killings
- Cabinet OKs cost re-assessment of Swalkote power project
- Cabinet discusses flag-hoisting row
- Committed to restore pristine glory of Old City: Omar
- Madhav Lal to be new Chief Secretary
- Snowfall cuts off Valley
- Army Chief questions Kashmir legal system
- Kashmir losing progress, prosperity to highway closure
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Jan 14: The General Officer Commanding (GOC) Chinar Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain, who is also the Security Advisor to Chief Minister, on Friday chaired the Core Group meeting held at Chinar More
- Srinagar City
Srinagar, Jan 14: The Regional Passport Office, Srinagar has stopped the issuance of fresh forms from January 17 to January 25, officials said Friday. Sources said the issuance of the passport forms More
Jammu, Jan 14: People’s Democratic Party today said the “coalition government’s mis-governance has plunged the State into unprecedented crises.” Addressing political activists of Poonch and Rajouri More
- News in Brief
Srinagar: Police has arrested a man, recovering fake currency of Rs 42000 denomination from his possession near Babateng Pattan in Baramulla district. According to the police, the arrested has been More
‘PRICE OF PULSES, RICE AND OTHER EDIBLES IN JK UNDER CONTROL’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Jan 14: Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Qamar Ali Akhoon directed the Price Monitoring Committee to conduct immediate checking of market to ascertain the rates being More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, Jan 14: The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will send its special representative on Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) before the next summit of the grouping of More