SRINAGAR: As the cold wave tightened its grip over Kashmir, the night temperature decreased by several degrees at most of the places owing to dry weather, even as the weather office predicted a further drop in the minimum temperature. The Mughal road remained closed for vehicular movement for the eight consecutive day after heavy snowfall, while one-way traffic was playing smoothly on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, traffic police officials said.
The Mughal road connects the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri of Jammu region with south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
It was closed for vehicular traffic on December 10 evening as a precautionary measure owing to prediction of heavy snowfall. “The road clearance operation was not started so far and a team of officials are visiting various areas along the road tomorrow to take stock of the situation,” a police official said.
A decision to reopen the road for vehicular traffic after clearance operation would depend on the emerging weather conditions, he added.
About four-feet of snow had accumulated on the ground at Peer Ki Gali along the road during the inclement weather between Dec 11 and 14, hampering restoration of the road link.
The road usually remains closed for vehicular traffic during winter months owing to heavy snowfall in Peer Ki Gali area.
Meanwhile, the officer said the one-way traffic from Srinagar to Jammu was smooth on the strategic highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country.
Traffic on the highway was restricted to one-way after it had opened on Thursday.
No movement of any sort of vehicle, including convoys of the army and other security forces, were allowed from Jammu to Srinagar to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the road, the official said.
The highway was closed from Dec 11 to 13 due to heavy snowfall and landslides at several places, shooting stones and accumulation of snow at the Qazigund-Jawahar and Banihal- Jawahar tunnel sectors.
Meanwhile, the night temperature dropped at most places in Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, on Saturday night, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
He said Pahalgam, in south Kashmir, and Kargil, in Ladakh region, experienced the coldest night of this winter so far last night.
The mercury at Pahalgam decreased nearly six degrees from minus 3.5 degrees Celsius the previous night to register a minimum of minus 9.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
It was the lowest night temperature of the season at the resort and the coldest December night there in the last four years.
Pahalgam had recorded minus 9.6 degrees Celsius on 27 December 2013 and the mercury had not dropped lower than that in the month over the years till last night.
The official said Srinagar recorded a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius down from the previous night of minus 1.1 degrees Celsius.
He said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius a degree down, while Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius last night compared to the previous night s minus 8.4 degrees Celsius.