Srinagar, Jan 23: The summer capital, Srinagar, again turned white on Saturday due to fresh snowfall disrupting normal life though the minimum temperature recorded about four degree improvement while day the mercury witnessed a drop.
Elsewhere in the Kashmir valley, including world famous ski resort of Gulmarg and health resort of Pahalgam, received heavy to very heavy snowfall disrupting road connectivity to far-flung and remote areas.
A Met department spokesman said today that there could be widespread moderate rain and snow over Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours. During the subsequent 48 hours, there could be isolated to scattered light rain or snow in the Union Territory (UT).
Tree and roof tops, open fields and roads again turned white due to fresh snowfall today after cloudy sky during the night which resulted in surge in the minimum temperature.
It was still snowing at the time of filing this report in the city, disrupting normal traffic movement due to slippery road conditions. However, as the day progressed vehicles, particularly public transport, went off the roads. People, including women and children, could be seen walking in the absence of transport. However, three wheelers were charging extra from the passengers.
Fresh snowfall on lanes and bylanes besides interior roads, which are already under frozen snow after the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and district administration failed to clear them, badly affected pedestrian movement. Dozens of people, mostly women, were injured due to slip on frozen snow in Srinagar this month after first snowfall in the first week. Electricity has also been snapped in many areas in the city after snowfall.
Due to cloudy sky, the minimum temperature witnessed a major surge of four degrees. Against yesterday’s minus 6.1 degree, which was 3.8 degree below normal, it was minus 2 degree on Saturday, 0.3 degree above normal. However, the day chill intensified after recording above normal temperature for about a week.
The Met spokesman said the sky would be partly to generally cloudy in Srinagar during the next 24 hours and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 7 degree and minus 2 degree.
World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, 55 km from here in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, recorded about two feet fresh snowfall, much to the delight of tourists and organisors of different skiing courses underway there. The upper heights, including Kongdori, Khilanmarg and Affarwat, the highest skiing point connected by Cable Car from base camp, received two to three feet of fresh snowfall.
Director, Disaster Management J&K Government Aamir Ali said Tangmarg received about one foot fresh snowfall since this morning.He said Baramulla and other plains in the north Kashmir district received fresh snowfall today.
He said majority areas in north Kashmir, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla also received moderate to heavy snowfall since early this morning. Roads leading to dozens of remote and far flung villages besides main towns were closed due to snowfall.
Mr Ali said Sadhna top received 30 to 36 inches of fresh snowfall, Karnah 6 inches, Farkian top 24 inches , Keran 12 inches, Z-Gali 15 inches, Machil 8 inches, Trehgam 6 inches, Kralpora 8 inches and Kupwara 5 inches till 1245 hrs and it was still snowing.
The famed health resort of Pahalgam, which serves as base camp for annual pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, also received fresh snowfall. Moderate to heavy snowfall was also received at holy cave and its periphery, Panjterni, Sheshnag, Mahaguns, Pisso top and Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on the traditional yatra route.
Mr Ali said tourist spot of Ahrabal received about a foot of fresh snowfall, Dandward 4 inches, Damhal Hanjipora 5 inches, Kulgam 4 inches and Kund 4 inches in south Kashmir.
The other south Kashmir areas, including Anantnag, Qazigund, Shopian and historic Mughal road, which is already closed for traffic movement from last week of December last year, also received fresh snowfall.
Reports of fresh snowfall were also received from central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Badgam.