Snowfall disrupts normal life

Snowfall disrupts normal life

Sohail Punjabi

Jammu: Heavy rains and snow lashed Kashmir Valley for the second consecutive day Monday, leading to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway and disruption of air traffic.
All scheduled flights operating to and from Srinagar international airport were cancelled due to bad weather while 2000 vehicles were stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu highway which was closed for traffic after landslides and shooting stones at several places.
“All the 14 flights scheduled for the day were cancelled due to bad weather,” SSP Srinagar Airport, Manzoor Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader.
Hundreds of passengers including dozens of tourists who were scheduled to fly out had to return disappointed after getting information about cancellation of all scheduled flights despite waiting for hours at the airport.
Manzoor said if weather permits, additional flights would be made available Tuesday to meet the heavy rush of the passengers.
“We will try to arrange more flights to meet the heavy rush of passengers,” he said.
Meanwhile, incessant rains and snowfall caused landslides at Nasri, Gagroo, Magarkote and Kheeri along Srinagar-Jammu highway. “Our first priority will be to allow the stranded vehicles to proceed towards Kashmir,” a traffic police official said.
“Yesterday, when the road was opened for some time, we managed to clear more than 3,000 stranded vehicles, today there are around 1,500 stranded vehicles at one stretch and there might be 500 more at other places on the highway,” SSP Traffic National Highway Sanjay Kotwal said.
“More than 2 feet snowfall has been accumulated near the Jawahar Tunnel, but snowfall is not the problem, the problem is that the incessant rain and snowfall has triggered massive landslides at various places along the highway,” Kotwal said.
He said the highway has been washed away at several places by landslides and the inclement weather was hampering restoration work.
Meanwhile, authorities issued a “medium danger” avalanche warning in most districts of Kashmir Valley following heavy snowfall since Monday morning.
“As per communication of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, medium danger of avalanche warning exists till March 17 in avalanche prone areas of seven districts of the Valley,” an official spokesman said.
He said the warning covers Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Ganderbal and Kupwara districts.
The Deputy Commissioners of these districts have asked people not to venture out in avalanche prone areas.
“People of these areas are also advised to temporarily evacuate those locations which are under fall line of avalanches,” the spokesman said.

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