Snow cut offs J&K from rest of country

Highway shut down, hundreds of passengers stranded as flights are cancelled

The fresh snowfall was heavy in the upper reaches of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sadna Top, Yousmarg and Shopian.

Meanwhile, Srinagar and adjoining areas have been experiencing light snow since Friday morning.

Normal life has been affected as the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was blocked by snow.

“Since the road is blocked we did not allow any vehicle to move from Srinagar to Jammu and vice versa,” said Shafeeq Ahmad, a traffic police official.

The closure of the road has resulted in hoarding and profiteering in Kashmir.
“Today, I purchased onion at Rs 50 per kg, while it was Rs 35 two days back. The prices of mutton and vegetables have gone up in other areas,” said Maqsood Ahmad, a teacher.

Besides road transport, all the 13 flights to Srinagar from different parts of the country were cancelled. Subsequently, no plane could land or take off from here. Thirteen-hundred passengers were affected due to cancellation of flights.

“The resumption of flights depends on the weather. If it continues to snow there are least chances of restoring flight services on Saturday also,” said a government official posted at the airport here.

This is the second snowfall of the season in the state. Unlike last winter Kashmir has been reeling under intense cold wave since December.

On Thursday night, the minimum temperature in Srinagar was 0.4 degree Celsius. Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 15.8 degrees Celsius. The meteorological department has predicted more snowfall in the valley in the next 48 hours.

Western disturbance

According to R L Pandita, assistant director meteorological department, a western disturbance is active in Kashmir. “We  expect moderate to heavy snowfall across the valley during the next 48 hours,” he said.

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