Kashmir Valley under snow carpet

Kashmir Valley under snow carpet

The early snowfall hit life and cut off the Valley from rest of the country. It also forced the state government to order the end of the controversial winter schooling for higher classes.
Qazigund in south Kashmir, located on Srinagar-Jammu road, recorded two-and-a-half feet snow. Two feet snow was recorded in the picturesque Gulmarg and one-and-half feet in Pahalgam. Reports of moderate to heavy snowfall were received from all parts of the Valley.

The 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu NH was closed leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. All the 11 flights to Srinagar from Delhi, Jammu and other places were cancelled due to rough weather. No flights took off Srinagar due to snow on runway and poor visibility.

Even though snow clearance machines were pressed into service, the number of vehicles plying on roads was lesser on Thursday than on Wednesday. “Snow clearance machines are in action but not all roads have been cleared, particularly those in rural areas,” said Mohammad Abdullah, a driver.

Amir Ali, officer on special duty in the office of divisional commissioner, said due to closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway, around 100 vehicles are stranded near Jawahar Tunnel.

“The stranded passengers were shifted to safe locations by the administration,” he said. The snowfall disrupted the power supply with electric poles getting knocked down in rural areas. The supply also remained affected in different areas of Srinagar city.

The snowfall, however, brought cheers to the people of the Valley who were in dire straits due to the biting cold. “We hope that the cold wave conditions will come to an end with this snowfall. People were suffering from chest ailments, cold and high fever because of the sub-zero temperature,” said Mohammad Mukhtar, a local resident.

The handful of tourists visiting Kashmir are also jubilant over snowfall. “This is for the first time in my life that I saw a snowfall. This is a great experience,” said Anju, a tourist from Delhi.