Traffic on Srinagar-Leh Highway suspended Weather likely to improve from Sunday
Plains of Kashmir were lashed by rains and higher reaches received fresh snowfall on Friday while traffic on 434-kilometer Srinagar-Leh highway has been suspended due to snowfall at Zoji La. “There will be occasional rains tomorrow also,” Director Meteorological Department, Sonam Lotus, told Greater Kashmir. He said that higher reaches including Kargil, Gulmarg and Zanskar received fresh snowfall.
Lotus said that weather will improve from November 9. He said that there has been considerable decline in the temperature due to continuous rains and cloudy sky for last some days. “From Sunday we expect increase in day temperature,” Lotus said.
Reports said it was snowing at Sadhna Pass from Thursday evening, as a result the mountainous road connecting Karnah tehsil with Kupwara town was covered with a fresh layer of snow measuring around 13 inches. Farkyan top connecting Keran area and Z-Gali connecting Machil area also witnessed around 1 feet fresh snowfall, reports added.
The district administration, reports said, has restricted the movement of vehicular traffic from Karnah to Kupwara, Keran to Kupwara, Machil to Kupwara and vice-versa to avoid any untoward incident in the wake of the fresh snowfall and prevalent slippery conditions.
The authorities have suspended the traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway also because of rains and snow at Zoji La.
“There has been snow and traffic has been suspended. The road has not been closed,” Superintendent of Police, Ganderbal, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray told Greater Kashmir. He said that once there is improvement in weather further course of action will be decided. “For the road to be closed there has to be an official order,” he said.
Reports said that hundreds of passenger and commercial vehicles were stranded near tourist resort Sonamarag. The Border Roads Organization has started to press in service its men for clearance of the road.
LANDSLIDE BLOCKS DODA-BATOTE HIGHWAY:
The Doda-Batote Highway was closed for vehicular traffic after a massive landslide damaged a large portion of the road.
The highway was blocked after a landslide hit it damaging a stretch of 100 meters at Chakwabridge, 9 kilomters short of Doda, last evening, Superintendent of Police, Traffic, National Highway, Sanjay Kotwal said.
“The work to clear the highway is on as around 100 meter stretch of the highway was badly damaged by the landslide,” Kotwal said.
He said that though a few trucks loaded with essential supplies were stranded on the highway, the passengers were crossing the damaged stretch of the road by foot.
“Passengers are not stranded as they are crossing the damaged stretch by foot to take another vehicle from the other side,” the SP said. He said that the work to open the highway was going on and if the weather remains clear the road will be thrown open for vehicular traffic by today evening.
“If there is no rain, we might throw the road open by today evening, but the rainfall and continued landslides were creating problems for the road clearing operation,” the SP said.
In view of the upcoming assembly elections in the area, the district election officer has expressed apprehensions that the delay in opening of the road might create problems for the election process. “As of now there is no problem, but if the road continues to remain closed for long, there can be some problems, but we are hopeful that the road might be thrown open very soon,” Deputy Commissioner Doda, ShyamVinodMeena, said.
TEMPERATURES PLUNGE IN JAMMU:
Jammu province shivered on Friday as most of the places in the region witnessed a cold day.
While the day temperature plunged further in hilly areas, the winter capital witnessed 5 notches fall in normal temperature due to cloudy weather since early morning.
Officials of meteorological department informed Greater Kashmir that the maximum temperature in Jammu was recorded at 24.2 degree Celsius and minimum at 17.3 degree Celsius.
They added that in Jammu region Banihal recorded lowest maximum and minimum temperature at 12.7 degree Celsius and 9.0 degree Celsius respectively, Batote recorded 13.0 degree Celsius maximum temperature and 11.3 degree Celsius minimum temperature.
Bhaderwah recorded maximum temperature at 18.2 degree Celsius and minimum temperature at 8.9 degree Celsius.
Katra recorded maximum temperature at 20.5 degree Celsius and minimum temperature at 15.6 degree Celsius.
Met officials informed that moderate rainfall was reported in different districts including Jammu, Reasi and Banihal.
“Jammu region witnessed lowest temperature of this winter,” they said and added that due to cloudy weather, light showers and snowfall in upper reaches plunged the day temperature resulting in severe cold.
They further predicted that moderate to heavy rain and thundershowers, besides snow on higher reaches, will occur at most places in J&K in next 24 hours. He said that average maximum and minimum temperatures in the region would remain at 25 degree Celsius and 14 degree Celsius respectively.