NH to stay closed today, operation of flights to depend on weather
Srinagar: Fresh snowfall on Saturday disrupted air and road traffic in Kashmir, shutting down the vital Jammu-Srinagar national highway (NH) and cancelling most of the morning flights at the Srinagar airport.
The valley received heavy snowfall in the mountainous areas, Gulmarg in north Kashmir recording two feet of fresh snowfall. Srinagar city recorded 10 inches of snowfall till 8:30am in the morning.
As per the traffic control unit in Srinagar, the Jammu-Srinagar Highway will stay closed for traffic on both sides on Sunday due to snow-clearance operations at some places.
“Only stranded vehicles will be allowed to pass on both sides. No movement of fresh vehicles will be allowed on the highway, so people are requested to avoid travelling on the road,” an official told Kashmir Reader.
As per airport officials, most of the early morning flights were cancelled at the Srinagar international airport. “There was poor visibility at the airport due to snowfall. Runway was also slippery, so 9 flights were cancelled till 10am,” said the Airport Director.
“The decision to operate flights tomorrow will be taken by the airliners and the air traffic control after receiving fresh weather advisory,” he added.
Though the MeT office forecast improvement in weather from Sunday, it said there was possibility of light rain and snow in many places and heavy snowfall at isolated places.
“There will be decrease in precipitation, to mainly dry on Monday,” it said.
The minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night’s low of minus 1 degree Celsius, a MeT official said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir, also recorded a low of minus 0.8 degree Celsius, while nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius on Saturday.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of 0.2 degree Celsius, the official said, adding that Kupwara was the only place in Kashmir where the night temperature settled above the freezing point.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam registered a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.
The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Drass settled at a low of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius and Kargil experienced the minimum temperature, at minus 16.8 degrees Celsius.