Highway, Mughal Road remain closed for 2nd day

Srinagar gets season’s 1st snowfall; Weather likely to improve from Thursday, says MeT office

Shabir Ibn Yusuf
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 12 2017 10:54PM | Updated Date: Dec 13 2017 12:50AM
Highway, Mughal Road remain closed for 2nd dayOfficials said the Srinagar-Jammu highway may be thrown open on Wednesday if weather improves. Photo

Srinagar received the season’s first snowfall on Tuesday, even as the Srinagar-Jammu highway and Mughal Road remained closed for the second consecutive day. The local meteorological department predicted light to moderate rains and snow in next 24 hours.

While higher reaches of Kashmir had received snow from Sunday evening onwards, people across the summer capital Srinagar woke up to a thin blanket of snow on Tuesday.

A meteorological department official said that Srinagar, which had received intermittent rains in the past 24 hours, recorded 3.5 cm snow till 10 am.

Srinagar-based director of the airports authority of India, Sharad Kumar, told Greater Kashmir that two flights were cancelled due to poor visibility while operations were normal for rest of the day.

The 300-km Srinagar-Jammu highway, Mughal Road and Tangdhar, Keran and Jumgund roads remained closed for traffic for the second consecutive day due to continuous snowfall and rains, an official said.

The highway was closed on Monday evening as a precautionary measure in view of heavy rainfall at Banihal, Ramban and Patnitop, and snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel.

“The road is still closed but the accumulated snow has almost been cleared,” senior superintendent of police (Traffic/Rural), Ajaz Ahmad Bhat told Greater Kashmir.

He said that in case the weather improves, traffic will be allowed on the highway on Wednesday.

“The highway travelers must contact the traffic control units on Wednesday morning before leaving for their destinations,” he said.

Bhat said that there has been heavy snowfall at Pir-Ki-Gali and other areas along the Mughal road—connecting Kashmir with Poonch district in Jammu province—resulting in its closure.

The roads leading to Tangdhar, Machil and Jumgund have also been closed because of heavy snowfall, he said.

The meteorological department official said that the prevailing weather conditions are likely to continue on Wednesday and Thursday “after which the western disturbance active over Jammu and Kashmir will start weakening.”

“For next 24 hours, there are chances of light to moderate rains and snowfall,” he said.

He said that most upper reaches received light to moderate snowfall during last night.

At least seven-inch snow was recovered at tourist resort of Pahalgam in Anantnag district while 3.5 feet of snow has accumulated at Sonamarg in Ganderbal district, he said.

The official said that Gulmarg recorded 61 cm snow, Pahalgam 25 cm, Kokernag 12 cm, Qazigund 13 cm, Kupwara 01 cm, Banihal 19 cm and Bhaderwah 05 cm.

He said that minimum temperature was minus 0.2 degrees Celsius in Srinagar and 0.1 degrees Celsius in Pahalgam.

Gulmarg was the coldest recoded place in Kashmir Valley at minus 6.5 degree Celsius.

The official said that minimum temperature in Leh town of Ladakh was minus 1.4 degrees Celsius while its neighbouring Kargil town shivered at minus three degrees Celsius.