Only stranded vehicles to be given passage on highway today
Srinagar: The plains of Kashmir valley continued to receive rainfall and a few higher reaches received fresh snowfall on Wednesday, while the Srinagar to Jammu national highway stayed shut for the second consecutive day.
However, by late afternoon, there was respite from the rains which have been incessant over the past three days across Kashmir valley. The weather office in J&K had predicted that the weather would clear by Wednesday afternoon and stay dry till the end of this month.
“The weather largely is expected to remain dry up to April 2. There is no major prediction of wet spell up to that time. However, between 28th and 29th of March, there is the possibility of light rains over the plains along with very light snowfall over the higher reaches of J&K. But as of now, we can say that overall, the weather is expected to remain mainly dry,” Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director of the Meteorological Department in J&K, told Kashmir Reader.
As per weather officials, several higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Wednesday, including the famous ski-resort Gulmarg which recorded snowfall of about 11 cm. The upper reaches of Kupwara including Machil, Sadhna Top and Z-Gali accumulated about one foot of fresh snowfall.
The weather bulletin said that till Wednesday evening, in the past over nine hours, Srinagar city recorded about 2 mm of fresh rainfall while as Qazigund recorded 1.8 mm. Pahalgam recorded 2.0 mm, Kokernag 0.4 mm, Kupwara 12.6 mm, and Gulmarg 11.6 mm.
Water-logging problems occurred in several places of the valley including in Srinagar city. Pictures of inundated roads and lanes were doing rounds of social media on Wednesday with several people complaining in Srinagar that the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) had failed to conduct de-watering operations effectively in the city. Interestingly, the famous Amar Singh College in Srinagar was seen under acute water-logging conditions with its paths and open spaces both submerged in water. Students had to face problems in reaching their respective departments and classrooms.
The minimum temperatures dipped in several parts of Kashmir valley on Wednesday. Weather officials said that Srinagar recorded a low of 4.6 degree Celsius, the same as recorded on the previous night, but Qazigund recorded a low of 4.0 degree Celsius, down from 4.6 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
Pahalgam recorded a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, down from 3.2 degree Celsius recorded a night before, while Kokernag recorded a low of 2.8 degree Celsius, against 3.6 degree Celsius on the previous night.
Gulmarg continued to reel under sub-zero temperatures with the mercury on Wednesday settling at a low of minus 2.5 degree Celsius, down from minus 0.9 degree Celsius on the earlier night. Kupwara recorded a low of 1.6 degree Celsius, against 2.0 degree Celsius of the previous night.
Vehicular movement on the Srinagar to Jammu national highway remained suspended for the second consecutive day on Wednesday. The highway, which is currently the only arterial link connecting Kashmir with rest of the world, has been hit by landslides and shooting stones at several places.
The traffic department said on Wednesday that the highway will stay closed on Thursday due to landslides, mudslides and shooting stones at several places. However, it said, after the clearance of debris, stranded vehicles between Nashree and Banihal shall be allowed towards their destinations.