SRINAGAR: A 24-hour spell of snow and rainfall in Kashmir disrupted normal life, damaged apple orchards, blocked roads and disconnected power supply in several parts of the valley on Saturday.
Moderate snowfall was witnessed in Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam, Shopian and Gurez areas of the valley, while light snowfall was witnessed in Shopian town and Pahalgam recorded its first snow of the season. Central and south Kashmir regions continue to receive moderate to heavy rainfall including Srinagar city and other plain areas of the valley.
South Kashmir was the most affected by the day’s rain and snowfall. Orchards at several hamlets in south Kashmir’s Shopian suffered extensive damage. Some places recorded more than one foot of snowfall.
Power supply was disrupted almost everywhere. There were long power cuts including in areas where power cuts are rare. As the rainfall brought with itself a chill in the air, people’s options of keeping themselves warm were limited due to absence of electricity.
Aijaz Dar, Chief Engineer of the Distribution Wing of the Power Development Department, told Kashmir Reader that power cuts were due to the damage caused to transmission infrastructure. “But it has now been restored in most of the places,” he said.
This time, he said, the cuts were not due to system overload. Dar said 1420 MW of power was supplied during the day against the capacity of 1800 MW.
Traffic on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway and the Mughal Road was suspended on Saturday as heavy rains lashed several parts of Jammu, with higher reaches experiencing the season’s first moderate snowfall, officials said.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway has been shut due to landslides at many places, officials said. The 84-km Bandipora-Gurez road continues to remain closed for the second day. Police have issued an advisory asking people to check the status of the road before undertaking a journey.
Srinagar recorded 5.6 degrees Celsius as its minimum temperature, while Pahalgam and Gulmarg recorded 0.3 degrees Celsius and minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Deputy Director of the Meteorological Department in Kashmir, Mukhtar Ahmad, said that the weather will improve from Sunday afternoon and will remain normal throughout the week.