One-way traffic on highway today
Stranded Vehicles Cleared As Weather Improves
RANJANA CHARAK/AAQIB ASHRAF
Jammu/Srinagar, Dec 15: Vehicular movement on the arterial Jammu–Srinagar highway is likely to resume by tomorrow as the snow clearance operation, according to authorities, is in full swing at Jawahar tunnel and is likely to be completed by this evening.
“The road stretch from Udhampur to Jawahar Tunnel (on Jammu side) has been cleared, while work for removing snow from Jawahar Tunnel to Qazigund (on Kashmir side) is in progress and there is every possibility that 295 KM road will be opened for one way traffic tomorrow”, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Traffic), Shakeel Ahmad Beg told Greater Kashmir.
The traffic officials at Banihal informed that about seven stranded heavy passenger vehicles and seventy light vehicles crossed the tunnel at 3.00 pm. “We are ensuring that all the stranded vehicles are cleared and allowed to move towards their destination and the road would be opened for one-way traffic in case there was no fresh snowfall”, he said and added that by tomorrow one-way traffic to Srinagar will be restored and all the stranded vehicles on way from Jammu to Srinagar would hopefully reach their respective destinations. He said if weather permits on Monday traffic movement would be allowed from Srinagar to Jammu.
When contacted Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Pardeep Gupta, said the district commissioners of all districts along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway have been directed to provide every possible assistance to the stranded passengers. He said the major problem faced by the stranded passengers is that of shelter so whatever place is available nearby, they have been accommodated.
In the meantime, very few stranded passengers were spotted at General Bus Stand, Jammu and on inquiry it was learnt that most of them have taken rooms in small hotels in the vicinity.
“It was too cold at Bus Stand. Most of the passengers moved to the small hotels as they are clueless about when the road will be opened for the traffic. Last year when the highway was not opened for many days, the stranded passengers faced much difficulty in getting rooms in the hotels and if they got any, the hoteliers were charging exorbitant rates”, Abdul Raheem a taxi operator said, adding “We are passing nights inside our vehicles as we are stuck up here”.
Meanwhile, according to weathermen, intermittent rains continued in the hilly areas of Jammu region on Saturday with 2.1 mm precipitation in Banihal, 3.8 mm in Batote and 2.8 mm in Bhaderwah, while upper reaches also received snowfall on regular intervals.
They also informed that in Jammu city the mercury remained two notches below the normal with a minimum and maximum temperature of 9.7 and 20.7 degree Celsius, respectively.
The Met officials forecasted that light to moderate rain and snowfall would continue at many places on Sunday.
In Kashmir valley weather mostly remained overcast in the plains, even as weatherman predicts light to moderate snow and rains across most parts of the valley in next twenty-four hours.
“Most parts of the valley received rain and snow today, but the snow at most parts couldn’t accumulate due to rain. The rains and snow would occur at most places in the next 24 hours and from tomorrow evening, the weather is expected to improve,” said an official the MeT department here. “Rain was recorded in Qazigund, Pahalgam, Kupwara and Kokernag and parts of Baramulla,” he said.
“The weather system is weakening and Kashmir could see clear sky from Monday onwards,” the official said.
The official said that temperatures are still at lower side, with Leh being coldest region of the State, recording minimum temperature of minus 10 degree and maximum of 0.6 degree Celsius.
The summer capital, Srinagar today remained dry with overcast for the whole day, recording maximum temperature of 6.8 degree, two degree less than normal and minimum of 1.4 degree Celsius, showing an increase of 1.2 degree from last day. The ski resort of Gulmarg recorded minimum temperature of minus 4.7 degree while as South Kashmir’s tourist destination of Pahalgam recorded minimum of minus 0.4 and maximum of 2.6 degree Celsius.
The gateway town of Qazigund recorded minimum of minus 0.2 and maximum of 4.5 degree Celsius.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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