Only stranded vehicles allowed towards Srinagar on highway today
Srinagar: The chill of Chillai Kalan continues in Kashmir valley, the minimum temperatures staying several notches below normal. In Srinagar it was as low as minus 7.0 degree Celsius on Tuesday, colder than the previous night’s minus 6.4 degree Celsius. The city had recorded the lowest temperature in three decades on Jan 14 at minus 8.4 degree Celsius.
Water bodies across Kashmir valley including the famous Dal Lake continue to wear a frozen look. However, as the day temperatures are comparatively high due to bright sunshine, the water bodies have not completely frozen. The water supply lines, too, are at mercy of the whims of the mercury; the more it goes down, the more they freeze.
As per the meteorological office data, it is mostly the areas of south Kashmir where the minimum temperatures are staying very low over the past few days. At a low of minus 8.6 degree Celsius, Qazigund in south Kashmir remained the coldest place in Kashmir valley continuously on Tuesday, as it has been for the past three nights. On the previous night, Qazigund had recorded minus 8.3 degree Celsius, and on Sunday, minus 9.0 degree Celsius.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 8.4 degree Celsius, significantly down from the minus 6.8 degree Celsius on the previous night. Its neighbouring Kokernag recorded minus 7.4 degree Celsius, as against minus 6.9 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
Against minus 6.0 degree Celsius on the previous night, ski-resort Gulmarg recorded minus 6.2 degree Celsius. The mercury in Kupwara in north Kashmir has been settling slightly higher than in other parts of valley. On Tuesday the minimum temperature was minus 5.7 degree Celsius, slightly up.from the minus 5.2 degree Celsius on the previous night.
The Ladakh region also continues to reel under freezing temperatures with Leh recording minus 12.0 degree Celsius as against minus 10.1 degree Celsius on the previous night, while Kargil recorded a low of minus 19.0 degree Celsius, as against minus 18.8 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
Weather officials have predicted the weather to remain dry across Kashmir valley for the next two days. On the weekend there is forecast of light to moderate snowfall along with rainfall for a period of two days.
Meanwhile, only stranded traffic from Jammu to Srinagar will ply on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway on Wednesday. The traffic department said that subject to fair weather and road conditions, only stranded vehicles in Udhampur jurisdiction shall be allowed towards Srinagar including the local traffic plying in Ramban and Banihal, which comes midway of the highway.
The department also underlined that the weight bearing capacity of the installed Bailey bridge is less than 40 metric tonnes, so vehicles will have to adhere to the weight limit.