Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Javaid Mustafa Mir has asked the Divisional and District Disaster Management Authorities to be in a state of readiness, in view of the forecast of moderate to heavy snowfall issued by the Meteorological Department.
The Minister directed both Divisional Commissioners to ensure that necessary measures, including men and machinery, be put in place, to ensure minimum disruption of services.
He also instructed that the movement of vehicles on vulnerable roads, should be restricted, based on the avalanche warnings and adverse weather reports, as a precautionary measure. The Minister, who is personally monitoring the situation, issued an advisory for the general public to take adequate precautionary measures in case of heavy snowfall and to drive vehicles with utmost care.
He directed the Chief Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Department to preposition their snow clearance machines and not to wait for accumulation of snowfall. He directed Commissioner SMC and Chief Engineer Power Development Department to keep their staff in readiness.
Meanwhile, high danger avalanche warning has been issued by SASE for Tangmarg-Gulmarg sector, Medium danger for Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, Kupwara-Chowkibal-Tangdhar pass, Furkian- Z Gali, Bandipora-Kanzalwan-Gurez sector. And low to medium danger for higher reaches of other parts of the State. People living in these areas have been advised to avoid these routes and avalanche prone areas.
Meanwhile, the night temperature across Kashmir division stayed below the freezing point as the cold conditions continued.
"A fresh western disturbance is affecting J-K and adjoining areas and is most likely to affect the state from tonight till Tuesday," an official of the MeT department here said.
"Under the influence of this system, moderate to heavy rain or snow is expected at widespread places of Kashmir and Jammu and moderate snowfall in Ladakh, mainly Kargil district," he said.
The official said higher reaches of Kashmir and Jammu are most likely to receive moderate to heavy rain or snow, which may lead disruption of surface transportation, mainly the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at most places in the valley went down last night.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius last night, the official said.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, registered a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius last night, a degree down from the previous night.
The official said the night temperature in Kokernag settled at a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara town in north recorded the minimum temperature of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam, the south Kashmir health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius last night, while the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara and Gulmarg were the only places in the valley where the night temperature rose last night.
Kargil continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the night temperature in the nearby Leh town settled at a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius last night.