Traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway restored

Night temperatures in Ladakh dropped to below freezing point at minus 7.
Traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway restored
File Photo

Night temperatures in Ladakh dropped to below freezing point at minus 7.9 degrees Celsius while Gulmarg was the coldest place in Kashmir at minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, a Meteorological department official said here on Sunday.

He said that the minimum temperatures in Kargil, Srinagar and Pahalgam were minus 5.8, 2.9 and minus 0.5 degrees Celsius, respectively, on Sunday.

The twin resorts of Pahalgam and Gulmarg were the other places in Kashmir where the mercury settled below freezing point.

Pahalgam recorded the minimum of 0.5 degree Celsius, while the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded the minimum temperature of 2.9 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund and Kokernag towns registered the minimum of 2.2 degrees Celsius and 0.4 degree Celsius respectively, while Kupwara recorded a low of 0.8 degree Celsius.

Fresh snowfall in the past 24 hours resulted in closure of Mughal Road that serves as an alternate route between Kashmir and Jammu region. Two feet of snow had accumulated on the ground between Peer-Ki-Gali and Pushana—the 20-km stretch along the Mughal Road connecting Poonch district with Shopian, on Friday night.

Sinthan Top along the Kishtwar-Anantnag road recorded over three feet of snow since November 15, the day when more than two-month-long dry spell ended in the state.

The minimum temperature in Jammu fell by 1.7 degrees Celsius to settle at 9.5 degrees Celsius—three notches below normal, a MeT office spokesperson said. He said that night temperature also registered a dip in other places in the region, with Bhaderwah in Doda district, which received the first snowfall of the season yesterday, registering a low of 3 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Katra was 10.8 degrees Celsius, followed by Batote 4.3 degrees Celsius and Banihal 4 degrees Celsius, the spokesperson said.

Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway was, however, not interrupted.

Also, vehicular movement on 434-kms Srinagar-Leh highway was restored on Sunday for light vehicles after it remaining closed for two days.

Deputy superintendent of police Kangan M Omar Shah said that the light motor vehicles were allowed to move from Sonamrag towards Kargil after stranded vehicles were evacuated from the Zojila this afternoon.

Traffic was suspended on the highway after heavy snowfall and slippery conditions on Friday.

An official said that around 130 vehicles including passenger vehicles and trucks which had got trapped on the highway at Zojila pass last night were allowed to pass this afternoon.

An official from BRO, captain NK Singh said the entire road stretch of Zolila had turned icy and slippery due to freezing temperature. 

"The road was however restored for the traffic today," he said.

At least 45 persons including 40 ITBP soldiers stranded on Zojila top were rescued late last night in a swift operation by personnel of BRO here today, the official said.

The weather office has forecast partially cloudy sky in the state during the next 24 hours.

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