Like many other places in Kashmir, the Bhadarwah valley witnessed this season's first snowfall on Monday providing much-needed relief from the intense cold as the mercury rose due to cloud cover.
Residents here had a pleasant surprise and heaved a sigh of relief to see the whole valley enveloped in a rather thick blanket of snow on Saturday Morning.
As white flakes of snow started carpeting the Valley since the wee hours on Saturday, hundreds of Valleyites got a whole host of reasons to cheer up. Orchardists who feared early sprouting of flowers due to the lack of a major snowfall were on cloud nine. Additionally it brought cheers to the faces of hoteliers and local business men who believe that the snowfall, for sure would hopefully redraw tourists to the valley after two years of slump due to abrogation of article 370 last year followed by COVID-19 pandemic this year.
Pertinently, both farming and tourism sectors are the mainstay of the economy of the people of District Doda. While horticulture provides livelihood to 65000 families, tourism accounts for nearly 10% share in the region's annual income.
The temperature in the last 24 hours dropped by three to four degree C on average, while in Bhadarwah, the night temperature dropped by five degrees.
Higher regions of Bhadarwah valley, Kansar, Kota Top, PadriThanhala, Shankoja, Duggi, Jai, Hanga, Jatani, Chinchora and Chattargala received heavy snowfall ranging from 18 inches to 3ft while valley received moderate snowfall.
Meanwhile residents also faced problems as power and potable water supply remained disrupted in several parts of the town, while surrounding villages located on hilly slopes also got disconnected from road connectivity.
According to reports, higher reaches of Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Bhadarwah and Gandoh including Padder,Marwah, SinthanTop,Dessa, Gurmal, Siraj, Tanta, Kota Top, Neel Top, Mahu, Mangat, Kharri, Gool, Ashapati, Kailash, Chattergalla, Jaie and other higher reaches received heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile, due to fresh snowfall on either side of Jawahar Tunnel and landslides at many places between Ramban-Banihal, the traffic movement was suspended on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway(NHW-44) since morning.
When contacted DySP Traffic Ramban, Parul Bhardwaj, said, "after improvement in weather, authorities started restoration work on war footing and we were able to resume vehicular movement at 1 PM."
"The vehicles moving towards Jammu from Srinagar have been allowed, while stranded vehicles are being cleared on priority," DySP added.