Minus 5.2 in Srinagar, Pahalgam coldest at minus 11.9; stranded vehicles on highway to be cleared till evening today
Srinagar: As the 40-day harshest winter period of Chillai-Kalaan nears its end, intense cold wave gripped Kashmir valley with minimum temperatures plummeting several notches below normal on Monday following the fresh spell of snowfall during the weekend.
According to weather officials, Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, down from minus 1.9 degree Celsius on the previous night, while Qazigund recorded minus 5.5 degree Celsius, down from minus 3.0 degrees on the earlier night.
The famous ski-resort Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 11.5 degree Celsius, slightly down from minus 11.0 degree Celsius a night before. Kupwara recorded a low of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, against minus 4.2 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
The mercury in Pahalgam settled at a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest place in Kashmir valley on Monday. Pahalgam on the previous night had recorded minus 12.0 degree Celsius minimum temperature.
Weather officials have predicted the weather to remain mainly dry across Kashmir valley till the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Jammu National highway was through for traffic on Monday afternoon after stranded vehicles were cleared.
“Only stranded vehicles were cleared on the highway en route to Kashmir till Monday afternoon. After the clearance, fresh movement of traffic was allowed to ply towards Kashmir from Udhampur which continued till late evening,” Manzoor Ahmad Mir, SP Traffic, Rural Kashmir, told Kashmir Reader.
On Tuesday, he said, only stranded vehicles on the highway will be allowed to ply towards Srinagar. After which, he added, it will be decided on allowing fresh traffic from Srinagar towards Jammu by the evening of Tuesday.
He informed that nearly 3,500 vehicles have reached Kashmir valley including trucks, tankers and load carriers carrying essential items along with other vehicles during Saturday and Sunday.
Tthe traffic department said that subject to fair weather and better road conditions, only stranded vehicles between Ramban and Jawahar Tunnel range shall be allowed towards Srinagar on Tuesday.
“No vehicle shall be allowed from Jammu or Udhampur towards Srinagar,” the department added.