Bhaderwah March 20: Late March snowfall in upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district has made residents a worried lot as orchardists are fearing loses and students are finding it difficult to cope up with the sudden cold wave.
Administration has issued advisory asking people not to venture near avalanche prone areas and has also stopped vehicular traffic on Bhaderwah-Basholi-Pathankot and Bhaderwah-Chamba interstate roads on Monday morning.
Farmers especially fruit growers claimed that snowfall on 20th March has happened in the areas after a long time, catching them unprepared as they have already started working in their orchards after prolonged winters.
"We have already started ploughing our maize fields and were expecting to have a good crop of apricot, almond, peach and walnut, as these trees were blooming with flowers. The unseasonal snowfall and sudden dip in temperature has done a lot of damage to these fruits," said Saif Din Dhakkar of Village Kota Top.
Students who had started going to school after extended winter vacations and some of them are appearing in class 10th and 12th exams are finding it difficult to cope up with the sudden cold wave triggered due to snowfall.
"We have just started attending our classes after winter vacations. We fall in hard zone and our exams are commencing from first week of April, but after snowfall we are not able to reach our school at this crucial juncture," Said Mohd Arif (16) student of class 10th, village Kharangal, Bhalessa.
The snowfall in the inhabited areas like Kota Top, Jatani, Kansar, Thanhala, Baach Dhar, Shankhoja, Chenera, Kaljugasar, Sivili ranging from two inches to over one feet, was recorded in different areas of the district, forcing closure of Bhaderwah-Basholi-Pathankot highway, Kishtwar-Sinthan Top road and Bhadarwah-Chamba interstate road while many far-flung areas got cut-off, officials said.
When contacted ASP Bhaderwah Kameshwar Puri said: "Most of higher reaches in Bhadarwah and Bhallesa areas are witnessing fresh snowfall since morning. We have issued advisory to the people residing in hilly slopes to avoid venturing outside especially near avalanche prone areas till weather conditions improve."
"Following fresh snowfall, particularly on 30 KM stretch from Thanala to Khundi Maral on interstate Bhadarwah-Chamba raod and 25 KM stretch from Thantera to Chattar Galla pass on Bhaderwah-Basholi National Highway, we were compelled to stop all kind of vehicular traffic on these road from this morning. It is snowing and road has become very slippery," the ASP Bhadaerwah said. He said no vehicles will be allowed to move beyond Thanalla on Bhadarwah-Chamba road and Thanthera on Bhadarwah-Basholi-Pathankot road.