Snowfall closes highway; flights cancelled


Srinagar: Season’s first heavy snowfall disrupted normal life in Kashmir Monday even as the Meteorological department predicted improvement in weather from Tuesday.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway had to be closed for traffic due to landslides and shooting stones at Ramban, Ramsu, Udhampur, Kheri and Nashri, IG Traffic Muneer Khan told Kashmir Reader.
“Fortunately, no vehicles are stranded on the highway,” Khan said.
Muneer Khan said that if the weather shows any improvement, only light vehicles will be allowed to ply on the highway from Jammu to Srinagar on Tuesday .
The heavy snowfall also disrupted air traffic. SP Airport Manzoor Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that all the scheduled flights were cancelled due to snowfall. “Due to heavy snowfall all the operations were cancelled and flights from Srinagar to Delhi and vice-versa were cancelled. In winter, 15-16 flights operate from Srinagar to Delhi but we all were cancelled due to heavy snow,” he said.
In Srinagar, government offices witnessed thin attendance and skeletal traffic plied on the roads due to the snowfall .
According to Meteorological department, Srinagar recorded 8.4 cm of snowfall from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on Monday. Maximum and minimum temperature in Srinagar for Monday was 3.6 Degree Celsius and 0.4 Degree Celsius.
Qazigund in South Kashmir recorded 19 cm of snowfall and 22.6 mm rainfall on Monday, while Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded 7 cm of snowfall and 8.2 mm rainfall.
“Gulmarg recorded 42 cm of snowfall and Pahalgam recorded 25 cm of snowfall. Kokernag in South Kashmir recorded 18 cm snowfall on Monday,” official at MET department said.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Rohit Kansal told Kashmir Reader that snow clearance machines were immediately pressed into service.
“We deployed eight snow clearing machines, three snow cutters as well as manual labour to clear snow from all the major roads in Valley. I visited four districts myself to closely monitor the situation,” he said.
The heavy snowfall also disrupted electricity in various parts of the valley, including hospitals.
Kansal said that the after earlier hiccup, the electricity was restored in all the major hospitals of the valley.
Sonam Lotus, head of the Meteorological Department Kashmir said that weather is likely to improve from Tuesday.