Snowfall throws life out of gear in Kashmir Valley

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By GNS on 07/02/2019.

Snowfall throws life out of gear in Kashmir Valley

Gulmarg records highest snow, Srinagar-Jammu highway closed, air traffic suspended, weather to improve tomorrow

Nadeem Nadu

Srinagar, Feb 7:  Normal life was thrown out of gear in Kashmir Valley due to moderate to heavy snowfall since overnight while Gulmarg – the health resort reordered highest snow, of more than 3 feet.

The upper reaches of the Valley received heavy snowfall, leading to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu Highway – the only surface life connecting Kashmir Valley and other road links, an official of the Traffic Control Room here said.

Due to weather forecast and snow accumulation at Jawahar Tunnel and landslides at various places along the NHW-44, the Srinagar-Jammu highway remains closed for vehicular traffic.

An official said that the decision regarding the vehicular movement on the highway shall be taken tomorrow (Friday).

An avalanche hit the north portal of the Jawahar Tunnel along Srinagar-Jammu Highway on Thursday, towards Valley side, blocking one of the tubes, the official said, adding that efforts are on to clear the snow.

The Ladakh region remained cut off from Kashmir since December last year as the Srinagar-Leh national highway remained closed due to accumulation of snow while historic 86-km-long historic Mughal road and Anantnag-Kishtwar roads remained shut due to accumulation of several feet of snow and slippery road conditions.

Air traffic to and fro Srinagar airport was also suspended due to snowfall. All flights scheduled for today were cancelled due to poor visibility and snow accumulation on the runway, the official said.

The snowfall has also disrupted normal life and affected the movement of people and transport in Srinagar city and other districts of the valley, he said.

Regarding National Highway, the official said that adequate men and machinery was deployed to clear snow so that valley will be connected to the rest of the country as soon as possible.

The Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan stressed upon all concerned departments to be prepared and keep their men and machinery in ready mode to tackle any situation arising due to inclement weather conditions and ensure prompt restoration.

Meanwhile, an official of the weather department said, “As expected, many places of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh (especially Kargil dist) received heavy to very heavy snow resulting in disruption of surface and air transport. We are expecting gradual decrease in snowfall from this evening.”

He said there is significant improvement in weather forecast from tomorrow forenoon from Kashmir, afternoon from Jammu & Ladakh region.

On Thursday, people across the Valley woke up to thick layer of snow, ranging from 2 inches to more than two feet. The snowfall began in the late afternoon on Wednesday and continued in most parts of the Valley throughout the night.

Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir Division Sami Arif Yesvi told GNS that Srinagar recorded 7 inches, Fakir Gojri 12 inches, Budgam 15 inches, Budgam-Humhama Airport road 15 inches, Budgam-Beerwah 36 inches, Yusmarg 36 inches, Khansaheb 36 inches, Ganderbal Town 11 inches,, Babanagri- Wangath 24 inches, Sumbal – Ganiwan 6 inches, Kangan-Wangath 12 inches, Kulan – Rezan 30 inches, Anantnag Town 12 inches, Pahalgam-Aru 18 inches, Dooru 15 inches, Verinag 15 inches, Kokernag 15 inches, Kulgam to Qazigund 15 inches, Qazigund-Kund 27 inches, , Shopian  24 inches, Shopian-Sadew 33 inches, Shopian-Herpora 38 inches, , Pulwama Town 24 inches, Pulwama-Shopian road 24 inches,  Pulwama-Gallander- Khrew 24 inches, Baramulla 18 inches, Gulmarg 36 to 42 inches, Tangmarg 30 inches, Gulmarg-Tangmarg Road 26 inches, Bandipora Town 12 inches, , Bandipora upper reaches 18 inches, Gurez 30 inches , Kupwara town 12 inches, Lolab 20 inches and Handwara 12 inches.