Rains lash Srinagar, snowfall in higher reaches

SRINAGAR: Rains lashed the summer capital of the state on Friday while the higher reaches relieved fresh snowfall.
Gulmarg recorded about three inches of snow, while about five inches of snow was recorded in the peripheral areas of the hill station including Kongdoori and Aferwath.
Reports of moderate snowfall were also received from Z-Gali in Kupwara district, Sonamarg and Zojilla pass along Srinagar-Leh highway in Ganderbal district, Peer Ki Gali along Mughal road in Shopian district, Amarnath cave shrine and adjoining hills in Anantnag district and upper reaches of Yousmarg in Budgam district, officials said.
While the Srinagar-Leh road and the Mughal road, which is being developed as alternate road link between Srinagar and rest of the country, remained closed for vehicular traffic owing to ongoing snow clearance operation, the all-weather Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained open despite rains all along 125-km Srinagar-Banihal stretch, they said.
Officials said the fresh snowfall might delay the early opening of 434-km strategic Srinagar-Leh highway which usually remains closed during winter. The road normally opens by April-end but because of low snowfall this season, it was expected that the highway would be thrown open later this month.
Meanwhile, steady rains lashed the plains including Srinagar since early morning, but the water level in Jhelum and other water bodies remained unchanged so far.
Srinagar recorded rain of 7 mm till 2:30 pm while Kupwara district recorded highest rainfall of 15 mm, the MET office said.
The weather office has predicted more rainfall for the next three days.
Director MeT department, Sonam Lotus, however, ruled out any possibility of flood.
“There is a need to be vigilant to avoid any untoward situation, but flood is unlikely,” he said.
—With PTI inputs

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