Flights resume at airport but only stranded vehicles to be allowed on highway today; minimum temperatures drop drastically in south Kashmir
Srinagar: Bright sunshine replaced clouds during the day in Kashmir on Sunday, though the Srinagar-Jammu national highway stayed closed for traffic for the second consecutive day, as it would stay closed on Monday as well.
The J&K meteorological (MeT) office had predicted the weather to clear by Sunday afternoon, which it did, starting to improve during the night and eventually exhibiting significant change by the afternoon. The weather will remain dry up to the end of this month, the MeT office has forecast.
There was light snowfall in a few parts of Kashmir valley, including in Srinagar, during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. About 0.5 inches of fresh snowfall was recorded in Srinagar while in Qazigund more than one inch of snowfall was recorded.
Pahalgam also recorded one inch of fresh snowfall and Kokernag about 0.8 inches till Sunday morning.
Although, the let-up in snowfall on Sunday resulted in the restoration of air traffic, with flight operations resuming as usual, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road link connecting Kashmir with rest of the country, remained closed for traffic for the second consecutive day.
However, in the afternoon, after the clearance of snow from the Jawahar Tunnel range, stranded vehicles were allowed to ply from Jammu towards Srinagar, traffic officials said.
“The traffic was thrown open today for stranded vehicles only. At around 12:30 PM in the day, the stranded vehicles between the stretch of Udhampur and Ramban were allowed to move towards Srinagar. Hundreds of vehicles have passed over to Kashmir valley which were stranded on Saturday,” Manzoor Ahmad Mir, SP Traffic, Rural Kashmir, told Kashmir Reader.
He added that on Monday only stranded vehicles will be allowed to ply from Jammu towards Srinagar on the highway as there was a huge queue of stranded vehicles on the road. “After the clearance of stranded vehicles, fresh movement of vehicles on the highway will be resumed on Tuesday,” he said.
Officials at the Srinagar Airport said that all flights resumed normally on Sunday, though in the morning there was some delay due to the accumulation of snow on the runway along with low visibility issues.
“Of the total 21 flights scheduled today, all of them operated normally. Even three additional flights were arranged to accommodate the passengers who had faced cancellations a day earlier on Saturday,” Santosh Dhoke, Director of Srinagar Airport, told Kashmir Reader.
After the snowfall, minimum temperatures on Sunday again dropped several notches below normal across Kashmir valley except in Srinagar and Qazigund.
As per the weather officials, Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 1.9 degree Celsius, slightly up from minus 2.0 degree Celsius recorded on the previous night. Qazigund recorded minus 3.0 degree Celsius, also up from the minus 4.0 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
However, other parts of Kashmir valley witnessed a dip in minimum temperatures. The mercury in ski-resort Gulmarg settled at a low of minus 11.0 degree Celsius, drastically down from minus 4.8 degree Celsius on the previous night.
In Pahalgam, a low of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius, as against minus 1.3 degree Celsius on the earlier night, was recorded. Kokernag recorded minus 5.9 degree Celsius, down from minus 4.5 degree Celsius a night before.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, almost the same as the minus 0.4 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
In Ladakh region, Leh recorded minus 11.1 degree Celsius, as against minus 6.1 degree Celsius on the previous night, while Kargil recorded a low of minus 14.4 degree Celsius, as against minus 17.6 degree Celsius on the earlier night.