Traffic from both sides allowed today on Sgr-Jammu highway
Srinagar: Moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of J&K and also in some plains, along with rainfall in plains areas across J&K, was witnessed on Saturday. Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was disrupted for four hours during the day due to landslides and shooting stones triggered by rain.
The fresh spell of snowfall was also witnessed in Srinagar city. However, the plain areas only received light snowfall while upper reaches recorded moderate amount of snowfall. Weather officials said that Gulmarg received about one foot of fresh snowfall and Pahalgam received about three inches. In Srinagar city, they said, very little amount of snowfall was received. There were reports of snowfall in other areas of Kashmir valley including Sonamarg, Baramulla, Tangmarg, Kupwara to Machil stretch, and Karnah.
Officials said that shooting stones and mudslides hit the Baramulla-Uri highway and many places in Uri in north Kashmir, affecting traffic movement on roads.
Kargil and Drass region also received fresh snowfall on Saturday.
Tourists in Kashmir were seen enjoying the snowfall at different tourist destinations, especially at Gulmarg, which is currently hosting the second Khelo India Winter Games event.
Plains across Jammu and Kashmir were lashed by rains on Saturday, the rain disrupting traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway for about four hours during the day. Officials said that the highway was closed for traffic after rainfall triggered landslides and shooting stones on the Banihal to Ramban stretch.
“Due to the landslides and shooting stones, vehicular movement was disrupted on the highway for about four hours. The disruption occurred at around 11 AM and remained up to afternoon till 3 PM. However, after clearing off the debris, the traffic was allowed to ply in the late afternoon,” Manzoor Ahmad Mir, SP Traffic Rural, told Kashmir Reader.
Due to the widespread rainfall, normal life remained affected across Kashmir valley as most people preferred to stay indoors. The rainfall resulted in water-logging in areas across Srinagar city.
According to weather officials, by Saturday evening Srinagar had recorded over 19mm of rainfall while Qazigund recorded nearly 40 mm of rainfall. Pahalgam recorded 18.5 mm of rainfall, Kokernag 50 mm, and Kupwara received major rainfall of about 60 mm. Gulmarg also received about 24.2 mm of rainfall.
The weather is likely to improve on Sunday across Kashmir and will remain dry for the next few days, weather officials said.
“As predicted earlier, there was snowfall over upper reaches and rainfall over plains of J&K on Saturday. Now the weather is expected to improve by Sunday morning and will remain dry up to next few days,” Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director of the Meteorological Department in J&K, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that on 3rd and 4th March there is some possibility of precipitation across Kashmir valley, but it will go off without having any major impact on the ground.
Due to the snowfall and rainfall, the minimum and maximum temperatures decreased across Kashmir valley on Saturday. As per weather officials, Srinagar recorded a low of 4.7 degree Celsius, down from 8.0 degree Celsius on the previous night. The maximum temperature was recorded at 5.3 degree Celsius, as against 15.2 degree Celsius on the previous day.
Qazigund witnessed 5.0 degree Celsius maximum temperature, against 15.2 degree Celsius on the earlier day, while the minimum temperature stood at 2.2 degree Celsius, down from 5.7 degree Celsius on the earlier night. Its neighbouring Kokernag recorded 4.9 degree Celsius maximum temperature and 0.1 degree Celsius minimum temperature, sharply down from 5.2 degree Celsius a night before.
Gulmarg was the coldest place in Kashmir at 0.2 degree Celsius maximum temperature, as against 3.4 degree Celsius on the earlier day. The mercury during the night settled at a low of minus 2.2 degree Celsius, against minus 0.8 degree Celsius on the previous night.
Pahalgam recorded 4.0 degree Celsius maximum temperature, against 6.2 degree Celsius on the previous day. The minimum temperature stood at 0.3 degree Celsisu. Kupwara recorded 3.7 degree Celsius maximum temperature and minimum temperature at 0.7 degree Celsius, way lower than the previous night’s 4.4 degree Celsius.
Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway will ply from both the sides simultaneously on Sunday, the traffic department said, subject to fair weather and road conditions. However, it advised people to make the journey only after confirming the status of vehicular movement on the road.
Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs), the department said, shall be allowed from Jammu towards Srinagar from Nagrota (Jammu) between 5 AM to 12 PM and from Jakheni (Udhampur) between 6 AM to 1 PM. Similarly, from Kashmir, the vehicles shall be allowed from Zig (Qazigund) between 10 AM in the morning till 1 PM in the afternoon towards Jammu.
For Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs), “Only stranded vehicles between Nashree and Ramban shall be allowed towards Srinagar,” the traffic department said.