The 300-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for traffic for the third consecutive day as snowfall and rains lashed wide parts of Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
The residents of Srinagar on Friday woke up to witness a thin layer of snow covering the city as reports of heavy snowfall were received from the high altitude areas during the past 24 hours, the officials said.
The snowfall and incessant rains for the fourth day at various places along the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, hampered the efforts of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to restore the arterial road.
“No traffic movement was allowed, either from Srinagar or Jammu, for the third day onFriday due to blockade of the road in Ramban sector and heavy snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel and Patnitop areas,” a spokesman of the Traffic department told.
He said about 10 inches of snow had accumulated on ground around Jawahar Tunnel areas but the real problem is continuous landslides and shooting of stones triggered by incessant rains in Ramban sector which is hampering the efforts of early restoration of the highway.
Debris had accrued at Battery Cheshma, Anookhi Fall, Panthyal and Digdol areas during the night completely blocking the highway, he said, adding despite rains and snowfall the road clearance operation is in full swing.
The famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir experienced heavy snowfall along with other high altitude areas, while the plains including Srinagar witnessed light snowfall during the past 24 hours, a spokesman of the MeT department said.
He said Gulmarg recorded 15 inches of fresh snow, while the snow accumulation in Srinagar was 2.5 centimetres till 0830 hours on Friday.
The spokesman said the night temperature across the division continued its downward trend in view of the prevailing weather.
Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the Valley where the night temperature settled at minus 5.0 degrees against the previous night’s minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.
He said Srinagar recorded a further dip of almost two degrees in the night temperature which settled at minus 0.1 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam hill resort, which serves as the base camp during the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature recorded at rest of the observatories including Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag was around zero degrees Celsius.
Leh in frontier region of Ladakh was the coldest recorded place in the state with a low of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s minus 4.6 degrees Celsius.
The nearby Kargil town also recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.
The MeT predicted scattered to fairly widespread rain or snow at most of the places in the Valley during the next two days.