Snowfall brings respite from dry spell, highway closed, air traffic suspended

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Srinagar

The two month long dry spell has ended on Monday morning with higher reaches of the Kashmir getting highest snowfall while moderate snowfall in plains.

Tourists staying in hotels and houseboats in Srinagar city were seen coming out in open to enjoy the flakes of snow, and many were seen hurling snow on each other to express their joy this evening.

The fresh snowfall has led to rise in minimum temperatures, but the weather is likely to be dry on Tuesday onwards across the state, an official from MeT department said.

However, the recent snowfall has affected the normal life leading to traffic jams at many places as the roads have turned slippery in Srinagar city and other parts of the Valley, at least twenty-six people were also injured on today, most of the incidents took place due to the slippery roads.

The snow started on Sunday night in Kashmir valley and continued for the whole day Monday, though intermittently at some places.

File image of man and woman walking amid snowfall

The official said that the ski-resort of Gulmarg in Baramulla district received over one feet of snow from Sunday night. Pahalgam have received 13 centimetres, Qazigund received 17 cm ’s, Kupwara received 6cm, Kokernag 11 cm, Batote 13cm, Bhaderwa 15.

While Kupwara’s Machil, Keran and Firkan also received at least one feet of snow on Monday, while snowfall in Ladakh region is going on since Sunday evening.

The snowfall has also detached the Kashmir region from rest of country, the only all-weather road-link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, forced its closure due to the accumulation of snow at Jawahir Lal tunnel.

A traffic police official said that in view of heavy snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel, the Srinagar-Jammu highway—the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of world—has been closed.

“We closed the highway on Monday evening as it was snowing heavily at some places on the road,” he added.

Closed Srinagar-Jammu highway. (KL file Image: Shah Hilal)

The official further added that decision on re-opening the road will be taken on Tuesday morning after proper assessment, adding that intending highway travellers should contact traffic control units before leaving for their destinations on Tuesday.

The continuous snowfall and poor visibility also led to the cancellation of all inbound and outbound flight in Srinagar airport.

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