Fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Kashmir

Fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Kashmir
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Landslide blocks Jammu-Srinagar highway for 5 hours, Srinagar-Leh highway closed

Srinagar: Most of the higher reaches in Kashmir received fresh snowfall while plains were lashed by rains Tuesday, forcing the closure of the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway, officials said.
Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway also remained suspended for five hours.
An official of the Meteorological (MeT) department here said Sonamarg, Zojilla Pass, Amarnath Cave, Affarvat in Gulmarg, Mughal Road and many other areas in the higher reaches have received fresh snowfall.
There are reports of snowfall in most areas in the higher reaches in Kashmir, he said.
The plains of the valley, including summer capital Srinagar, received rains, the official said.
Owing to snowfall and rains on Zojilla Pass, traffic on the Srinagar-Leh national highway has been suspended.
A Traffic department official said traffic has been stopped on the highway on both sides as a precautionary measure in the wake of snowfall.
Officials said the road has become very slippery and there was threat of landslides and accident forcing authorities not to allow any traffic today from either side of Zojila. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to put through the highway. The weather has also improved and snow clearance operation was going on full swung.
The official said due to snowfall on the Mughal Road, traffic on the alternate road-link, which connects Kashmir Valley with Jammu and the rest of the country, has been stopped.
Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway also remained suspended for five hours Tuesday due to a landslide triggered by rains in Ramban district, officials said.
The landslide struck the 270-km highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir to the rest of the country, at Digdole around 4.45 am, traffic department officials said.
They said the agency concerned immediately launched a clearance operation and the highway was reopened for one-way traffic around 0945 hours.
The decision to restrict the traffic to one-way was taken to ensure smooth movement of vehicles.
The highway is being upgraded to a four-lane road and the work on the project is going on for the last several years.
Keeping in view the overall condition of the road — especially between Jawahar Tunnel and Ramban — and its narrow width at some places, allowing two-way movement of vehicles is not feasible, the officials said.
Meanwhile, light snowfall in Pir Ki Gali along the Mughal road, an alternate link connecting Poonch and Rajouri districts in the Jammu region to Shopian district in south Kashmir, also disrupted traffic on the road this morning.
Vehicular movement was disrupted for nearly an hour in the morning due to snowfall in the high altitude areas, including Pir Ki Gali along the road during the night, the officials said.
They said the road was cleared and the traffic on the road was going on smoothly from both sides.
With inputs from PTI