Airport, highway, major roads all stay closed; work on to restore damaged power lines
Srinagar: A full day’s snowfall on Saturday disrupted life in Kashmir Valley, suspending air as well as road traffic, and keeping homes unlit for many hours together.
The snowfall started on Friday evening and continued all through Friday night. On Saturday, it snowed everywhere in Kashmir Valley for all day. There was also substantial rain during the day, the department said.
Director of the MeT Centre in Srinagar, Sonum Lotus, told Kashmir Reader that there will be improvement in weather conditions from Sunday, as there is less likelihood of fresh snowfall in plain areas. There are still chances of snowfall in upper reaches, he said.
The day’s snowfall also suspended air traffic for the whole day. Srinagar Airport Director Kuldeep Singh said that the continuous snowfall and low visibility hampered operations. “All flights of all airlines, totalling 40, were cancelled today,” he said. “Throughout the day the airport authorities were waiting for the snow to go away but it did not happen. In the afternoon, when the snowfall stopped, the airport staff cleared the runway and the apron area from snow. As they waited for the visibility to improve, another spell of snowfall began, bringing to halt all operations,” he said.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway also remained closed for the day due to landslides. The situation is likely to be the same for Sunday, a traffic official said, adding that stranded vehicles have been parked at designated places. The Mughal Road and roads leading to Sonamarg, Bandipora and Kupwara too remained closed for traffic movement.
Electricity supply was disrupted for many hours as the snowfall damaged transmission infrastructure during the night. As soon as dawn broke, the work to restore the lines started, and gradually the homes began to be lit again. However, netizens criticised the government on social media for the power outage.
Unlike past experience, this time the Mechanical Engineering department and municipalities started the snow clearance work early in the morning. Most of the main roads were cleared within the first half of the day, reports said.