SRINAGAR-JAMMU HIGHWAY CLOSED

Power Supply Disrupted In Kashmir; 2 Die Of Cold In Jammu

AAQIB ASHRAF

Srinagar/Jammu, Dec 14: Snowfall and rains lashed Kashmir for the second consecutive day Friday even as the weatherman forecast that the situation might worsen in coming days.
“Snow and rain will continue to lash most parts of the valley for a few more days due to the strong weather system created by the incoming Western Disturbances,” an official of the MeT Department here said.
The official said that most parts of the valley received snowfall followed by rains during the day. The tourist destination of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded 16 to 18 inches snow, Rafiabad 3 to 6 inches and Tangmarg recorded 5 to 6 inches. Reports of snowfall also came from district Islamabad (Anantnag) in south Kashmir, including its adjoining areas of Jawahar Tunnel which received around 24 inch snowfall. Verinag received 4 to 5 inch, Kokernag 3 to 5 inches, Islamabad (Anantnag) town 1 inch and Pahalgam 7 to 8 inches of snowfall. Shopian town recorded 10 to 12 inches of snow, Kulgam 4 to 5 inches while as DH Pora 8 to 9 inches and Kund 7 to 8 inches of snowfall respectively. Handwara experienced 4 to 5 inches while as Lolab received 6 to 7 inches of snow. Pulwama also recorded 2 to 3 inches of snow.
The Met official said summer capital Srinagar received about one inch snow last night that couldn’t pile up because of the incessant rain.
“This season, weather has shown fluctuations with temperature usually remaining few degrees below normal,” the official said. Gulmarg remained the coldest place of Kashmir, recording minimum temperature of minus 6 and maximum of minus 2 degree Celsius.
Srinagar recorded minimum temperature of 0.2 degree and maximum of 3 degree Celsius.
Meanwhile, Srinagar–Jammu highway was closed due to snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel. The officials said efforts are being made by Beacon to clear the snow and reopen the road.
The traffic authorities told Greater Kashmir that around 40 passenger vehicles were stranded near Banihal, which were later allowed to move towards Srinagar. “Some trucks were also stranded near Qazigund and Jawahar Tunnel which were later allowed to move,” they said.
According to Inspector General of Police (Traffic), the highway shall remain closed for traffic on Saturday in view of the inclement weather.
Chief Engineer PDD, EM&RE Kashmir, said that due to heavy snowfall in north and south Kashmir, there has been power disruption since last night. “By Friday evening total restoration is expected,” he said.
Meanwhile, the air traffic at Srinagar Airport was disrupted due to poor visibility with no flight operating till 11.30 AM from Srinagar. Thereafter, 14 flights operated, an official said.
In Islamabad (Anantnag) district, reports said many areas including old town, SK Colony, Iqbal Abad, Moominabad, Achabal and Mattan are without electricity. The reports said electricity lines have broken down at many places, causing problems to the residents. Reports said water logging was witnessed at many places of the old town due to poor drainage system.

ABHINAB VERMA ADDS FROM JAMMU:
Two persons have died due to cold in Jammu city, police said today.
A Sadhu, who was living in Rahari area of Jammu city, died due to cold and the body was recovered this morning, police officials said.
A beggar also died due to cold near GMC hospital in the city, they said.
More than 700 vehicles and thousands of passengers are stranded along Jammu-Srinagar highway, which was closed for traffic movement following heavy rains and snow fall.
Sources said that the Beacon has pressed in men and machinery to clear the road, but constant rains and snow was hampering the restoration work.
DIG Traffic Police, Jammu, Shakeel Ahmed Beigh said that though the snow clearing work was going on, but it can’t be said clearly how much time it will take to open the route as the snowfall was on at many places along the route.
The passengers including women, old aged persons and children—stranded along the highway–were facing many hardships with no facilities being provided by the administration.
Meanwhile, as per Meteorological Department, Jammu region received an average 22.4 mm rainfall while heavy to mild snowfall was reported from all major towns of Chenab Valley and Pirpanchal areas.
In Chenab Valley, a maximum of 1 ft snow was recorded in Kishtwar, Bhaderwah and  Banihal towns till Friday evening, while it was several ft in the upper reaches of these areas.
The Met officials said that the present weather conditions would continue on Saturday and may extend till Sunday, with some possibility of clear sky on Monday.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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