Traffic once again from Srinagar towards Jammu on highway today
Srinagar: Temperatures in Kashmir valley continued to remain several notches below normal for this time of the year, with Srinagar recording a low of minus 7.6 degree Celsius, slightly up but barely noticeable change from the previous night’s low of minus 8.2, and Qazigund in south Kashmir staying the coldest place in the valley at a low of minus 9.0 degree Celsius on Sunday. The previous night Qazigund had recorded a low of minus 10.0 degree Celsius.
The plunge in minimum temperatures has been experienced after Kashmir valley received heavy snowfall in the first week of this month. The sub-zero temperatures have left water bodies including the Dal Lake frozen with a layer of ice. The water supply, too, continues to be hampered due to frozen pipes. In Srinagar, people had to struggle till the afternoon to extract some water out of the frozen pipes.
The frozen Dal Lake has been attracting a large number of people, including tourists, for the thick coat of ice it is wearing now. Despite warnings by the district administration to avoid venturing onto the lake, many people continued to click pictures and videos on its icy surface on Sunday.
Interestingly, the ski-resort Gulmarg recorded the highest minimum temperature in Kashmir valley on Sunday at minus 4.2 degree Celsius, more than a degree up from the minus 5.4 degree Celsius on the previous night, weather officials said.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 8.7 degree Celsius, as against minus 9.4 degree Celsius on the earlier night. Its neighbouring Kokernag recorded minus 8.7 degree Celsius which was the same as on the previous night. Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded minus 6.2 degree Celsius, as against minus 6.8 degree Celsius on the previous night, the officials said.
Ladakh region continues to struggle with extreme cold with Leh recording minus 12.1 degree Celsius, the same as on the previous night, minimum temperature, while Kargil recorded minus 17.4 degree Celsius, as against 19.0 degree Celsius recorded on the earlier night.
Weather officials have said that the weather will remain dry across Kashmir valley till the weekend, when there is possibility of light snowfall and rainfall from 23rd January for two days.
”The department is expecting the occurrence of light snowfall and rainfall across Kashmir valley on 23rd and 24th January. The weather will start to turn cloudy on 22nd night following which there can be precipitation for the next two days,” Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director J&K Meteorological Department, told Kashmir Reader.
Meanwhile, one-way traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway resumed via the Bailey bridge put up at Kela Morh in Ramban, where the highway has been severely damaged due to collapse of a bridge’s retaining wall. Vehicles were allowed to move from Srinagar towards Jammu on Sunday, as per the directions of the traffic department.
Against the normal routine, keeping in view the huge number of vehicles stranded in Kashmir valley, the traffic department said that one-way traffic will again ply from Srinagar to Jammu on Monday.
“Tomorrow, subject to fair weather and better road condition, only one-way traffic shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu including Banihal and Ramban (local traffic) on Jammu-Srinagar NHW. No vehicle shall be allowed from the opposite direction,” the department said.
Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) shall be allowed from 10 AM in the morning till 1 PM in the afternoon from Qazigund towards Jammu. Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) shall be allowed till 4 PM from Qazigund towards Jammu, the traffic department said.
It added that the weight-bearing capacity of the installed Bailey bridge is less than 40 metric tonnes, so vehicles must consider this and adhere to the weight norms.