After remaining closed for more than 12 hours the 270-kilometer Srinagar-Jammu National Highway re-opened for traffic on Thursday evening. Landslides at Moumpasi, Digdol and Nashri had led to the closure of this arterial road on Wednesday leaving more than 1500 vehicles stranded.
“There have been no fresh landslides. The road has been cleared. Only stranded vehicles from Jammu towards Srinagar will be allowed to move on Friday. No fresh traffic from either side will be allowed,” Superintendent of Police Traffic (Rural), Muzaffar Ahmad Shah told Greater Kashmir.
Another Traffic Police official said that Leh-Srinagar National Highway and Mughal Road- connecting south Kashmir with Pir Panchal region continue to remain closed for the vehicular traffic.
Pertinently, Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has remained closed for 13 days in November month, causing inconvenience to travelers and affecting delivery of supplies to the Valley. Frequent closure of the highway has also led to skyrocketing of airfares from Srinagar to various destinations. Srinagar-Delhi airfares which were priced between Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 just a few days back have now touched almost Rs 15000/ per head.
DRY WEATHER TODAY
Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has predicted dry weather across Kashmir on Friday. “There is a western disturbance passing over Jammu and Kashmir. However, there is no significant weather interference caused by this,” said a MeT Department official.
He said weather remained mainly dry on Thursday but Srinagar recorded 2 millimeter of rain in the morning. “Srinagar on Thursday recorded maximum temperature of 5.4 degrees Celsius—6.7 degrees below normal. Minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar was minus 0.5 degrees. The maximum temperature recorded at Gulmarg was 3 degrees, while minimum temperature at the famous ski-resort was minus 4.0 degrees Celsius,” the official added.
According to the extended range forecast issued by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday, minimum temperatures in Kashmir would remain 2 to 7 degrees Celsius below normal for next two weeks. However, as per IMD, maximum temperature in the Valley would remain around the normal mark till 10 December, as weather is expected to remain dry till then.
The MeT official said during the past two days Batote received 71 millimeters of rainfall, Kokernag 69 mm and Banihal 66 mm. The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded almost 10 inches of fresh snowfall on Thursday night. Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded 11 inches of snow, while Qazigund and Kokernag — received five inches and seven inches of snow respectively.
He said that Srinagar and the areas around it recorded about two centimeters of fresh snowfall. “There are reports of a fresh snowfall in the upper reaches of the Valley, including Zojila Pass, Amarnath Cave, Sonamarg, Gurez and Mughal Road,” the official added.