Fresh snowfall closes Srinagar-Jammu highway

Due to fresh snowfall and landslides at several places along the arterial route, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed for vehicular traffic on Wednesday.

The 294-km highway, the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, was closed on Wednesday morning after overnight rains and fresh snowfall, a spokesman of the Traffic Department said.

The Kashmir valley was lashed by overnight rains and received fresh snowfall in the morning, bringing down the night as well as the day temperatures. The rainfall and melting snow caused water logging at several places, including the areas in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk.

According to a Met office spokesperson, Srinagar received snowfall and rains equivalent to 20.2 mm rain since Thursday. “The current rain and snowfall was the result of low pressure system lying over the Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining areas,” he said and its impact would fade in next 24 hours.

“It was snowing heavily in the upper reaches including the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir and Pahalgam in south,” he added.

Reports said the fresh snowfall brought cheers on the faces of tourists who had arrived at the hill resort Gulmarg to enjoy skiing. “Chillai Bacha”, the final 10-day long phase of winter in Kashmir, which would end on Friday is considered less severe than 40-day long harshest “Chillai Kalan” and 20-day long “Chillai Khurd” which starts on December 21 and January 30 respectively.

“People living in Nowgam, Chowkibal, Budnambal, Karnah, Keran, Jumagand, Kenthawali, Machil and Lashdat (along Line of Control) are advised not to venture into steep avalanche-prone slopes during the said period and remove snow from roof tops of their houses to avoid any causality due to house collapse,” an official spokesperson said.

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