DAY 2 OF INCLEMENT WEATHER | 37 flight cancellations at Srinagar Int’l Airport leave hundreds stranded

-Passengers decry lack of communication from airline companies -Heavy to very heavy snowfall likely on Jan 7-8: MeT
DAY 2 OF INCLEMENT WEATHER |
37 flight cancellations at Srinagar Int’l Airport leave hundreds stranded
The airport witnessed flight cancellations for the second consecutive day as 42 flights had got cancelled on Tuesday.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Inclement weather forced cancellation of 37 flights at the Srinagar International Airport on Wednesday, even as higher reaches in Kashmir Valley experienced heavy to very heavy snowfall while light to moderate snowfall occurred at most places in plains.

The airport witnessed flight cancellations for the second consecutive day as 42 flights had got cancelled on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a rush of hundreds of air travellers could be seen at the Srinagar Airport where many passengers complained about "a lack of prior information from the airline companies about flight cancellations."

“There is no reason that passengers are made to visit the airport when the chances for flight operations are bleak. We are being troubled by making us travel to the airport. The airlines must have a better communication system with the travellers” said Shahid Ahmad, a traveller.

When contacted, Director, Airports Authority of India, Srinagar, Kuldeep Singh told Greater Kashmir of the total 42 flights, only 5 flights could operate on Wednesday. Singh said flight operations on Thursday depend on the weather conditions, especially the runway visibility. The Airport Director said all the efforts were made to ensure that “travellers are provided real-time information from the airport authorities on platforms such as Twitter regarding the flight operations”.

“All the morning flights were cancelled but we had some flights operating post afternoon and 5 flight operations could take place today. We are quite proactive on social media platforms for informing passengers about the flight operations” said Singh.

It may be mentioned that most of the flights were either diverted or cancelled, while only a few could land or take off after visibility improved in the afternoon on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Kashmir higher reaches experienced this season's first heavy snowfall as almost 4 feet deep snowfall was recorded at a few places.

Dawar, Tulail and Gurez in Bandipora received 2.5 to 4 feet of snow till Wednesday evening. Gulmarg was buried under 3 feet of snow while around 12 inches occurred at Tangmarg.

Razdan top, Machil and Z-Gali recorded 2 to 4 feet of fresh snow. While other plains in north Kashmir recorded 2 to 6 inches of snowfall, MeT officials said.

Intermittent snowfall continued in central and south Kashmir plains. Snow accumulation of 2 centimetres to 3 inches occurred at most places. Shopian received nearly half a foot of snow while upper reaches received snow depth ranging from 1 and 2 feet.

There were reports of heavy snowfall near Jawahar Tunnel, where more than a foot of snow was recorded, and other upper reaches of Ramban district. Moderate to heavy rainfall occurred at most places in Jammu plains throughout the day. Srinagar recorded a maximum temperature of 2.1 degrees Celsius which was 4.8 degrees below the normal.

Qazigund, Kokernag and Pahalgam recorded high temperatures of 1.8, 2.2, 1.1 degrees Celsius. Kupwara and Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered maximums of 1.5, -0.8 degrees Celsius respectively.

Banihal remained the coldest place in Jammu region on Wednesday, recording a maximum of 2.2 degrees Celsius. Jammu City, Bhaderwah, Batote and Katra recorded the day's maximum temperatures at 13.2, 5.1, 4.5 and 10.8 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the MeT department on Wednesday said that weather will be “favourable” for flight operation on Thursday and Friday at the Srinagar Airport but not so on the weekend when it has forecast heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir.

Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com