Heavy snowfall on Tuesday snapped air and surface link with the Kashmir Valley from the rest of country forcing authorities to order rationing of essentials commodities to evade any crisis in supply.
The Srinagar-Jammu Highway remained closed for the third consecutive day. The nearly 300-km long highway is the lifeline of supplies for the landlocked Valley. Each time, the highway gets blocked, hoarders and profiteers resort to selling essentials on the black market. The authorities on Tuesday announced rationing of petroleum products and cooking gas.
An order issued by PK Pole, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner said two-wheelers would get 3 litres of fuel, three-wheelers 5 litres, four-wheelers (private) 10 litres, four-wheelers (commercial) 20 litres and heavy motor vehicles/buses/trucks would get 20 litres per day. It has been ordered that one cooking gas cylinder will be issued to the consumer after 21 days. Heavy snowfall has also disrupted electric supply in the Valley in addition to inter- and intra- district road links.
Flight operations to and from Srinagar remained suspended for the third consecutive day on Tuesday due to poor visibility as the Valley received heavy snowfall, officials said. Operations will resume only after the weather improves, they said.
Over 250 stranded vehicles cleared
Over 250 stranded vehicles on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, mostly carrying passengers, were cleared after the arterial road was briefly opened for one-way traffic between Banihal and Qazigund, officials said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority on Tuesday issued fresh medium-level avalanche warning for higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara and Bandipora districts besides Waltengu Nad, South and North portals of Jawahar Tunnel, Verinag, Kapran, Chowkibal-NC Pass, Gurez, Dawar and Neeru areas.
Srinagar airport battles to clear runway as heavy snowfall pounds city
Srinagar airport authorities on Wednesday continued the uphill task of clearing the runway for resuming operations amid heavy snowfall and avalanche warnings. Despite the overnight operations of clearing the runway which was thickly covered in snow, the authorities woke up to roads fully taken over by the snow once again.
“@Aaisnrairport Snow clearance job was going full night but again due heavy snow fall roads are covered with snow, however again all team escalating their work to make possible ambience for aircraft operation today .@AAI_Official @aaiRedNR,” the Srinagar international airport said in a tweet on Wednesday morning.
“The snow clearance is going on amid snowfall. We are taking every step to provide feasible condition to operate flight in extreme weather,” the authorities said in a tweet.
As a result of extreme weather conditions, Kashmir remains cut-off from the rest of the country with the arterial Jammu-Srinagar national highway and Mughal road closed due to accumulation of snow.
Thousands of vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essentials to the Valley, are stranded along the highway at various places.
Srinagar city has witnessed moderate snowfall for the past three days but snow clearance operations have ensured that traffic movement was going on. The flight operations to and from Srinagar is also suspended due to poor visibility, officials said.
Mughal Road, which connects the Valley to Jammu division through Shopian-Rajouri axis, has been closed for several days due to heavy snowfall in the region.
Avalanche warning was issued on Tuesday for higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara and Bandipora districts, according to the Disaster Management Authority of Jammu and Kashmir.
The authority tweeted, “Medium Level (Yellow Alert) Avalanche Warning has been issued for higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara and Bandipora districts, besides Waltengu Nad, South and North portals of Jawahar Tunnel, Verinag, Kapran, Chowkibal-NC Pass, Gurez, Dawar and Neeru.”