Valley remains cut off for third day

Valley remains cut off for third day

Highway remains closed, flights also hit

Though intensity of snowfall reduced from Wednesday afternoon Kashmir Valley remained cut off from rest of the country for third consecutive day. The Valley witnessed the heaviest snowfall in March in last few decades from Monday morning to Wednesday morning.

While Srinagar recorded one and a half feet of snow, upper reaches of the Valley recorded four to five feet of fresh snow, an unusual phenomenon in this part of the season.

While 300 km long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, only all weather road link between the valley and rest of the country, remained closed for traffic, operation of flights at Srinagar International Airport was also disrupted.

However, intra-valley train service plied normally on Wednesday.

The heavy snowfall has also damaged electricity lines, officers said, breaking down power supply in most areas of Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. The State Disaster Management Authority reissued avalanche warning for hilly areas and advised people living in snow-bound areas to take precautions and not to venture on steep slopes.

The authorities closed all the schools and colleges in Kashmir Valley till March 16 while Kashmir University also postponed the exams.

A Traffic Police official said Srinagar-Jammu highway had been closed due to heavy landslides and snowfall on either side of Jawahar Tunnel.

“Traffic was not allowed from either side on the highway on Wednesday,” he said and added

An officer at Srinagar International Airport said several flights were cancelled on Wednesday due to slippery conditions on the runway. Usually, 22 flights operate a day this season, carrying 6,000 passengers daily in the Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector.

Due to heavy snowfall the whole valley has been plunged into darkness as electricity lines have got damaged. Chief Engineer (System and Operation Wing) Power Development Department, Sheikh Gul Ayaz said they were trying to fix the lines.

Reports said large number of trees have been uprooted, blocking roads and getting entangled in transmission lines. As a result, there was no power supply in most parts of the valley on Wednesday.

A MeT department officer said temperature had dropped to zero degree in Srinagar and fallen below freezing point in upper reaches of Valley.

Water logging emerged as a major problem as the dewatering operations are badly affected in Srinagar city due to lack of electricity.

Several roads in the city including commercial hub of Lal Chowk and Exhibition Crossing have been inundated and people are facing difficulty in moving around.

According to experts the heavy snowfall in March is not in favour of agriculture or horticulture sectors. Reports said thousands of apple trees have suffered damage across the Valley.