Jammu-Sgr NH re-opened; Leh highway still closed
JAMMU: Most parts of Kashmir, including areas in plains of the Valley and higher reaches of Jammu region received snowfall overnight, while 270- km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was re-opened for traffic this evening.
Official sources told that road between Nashri Tunnel and Banihal was blocked at nine places due to land/mud- slides and shooting stones while snow in Jawahar Tunnel area was cleared with the help of machines by this noon. However, the road between Ramban and Banihal was cleared at around 5 pm today and the movement of stranded light vehicles on both sides was allowed by the Traffic Police authorities.
IGP Traffic, J&K, Alok Kumar said that mud-slides just near the northern tube of the Nashri-Chenani Tunnel has blocked one tube. “The slush created there on the highway has become cause of concern. It has not been fully cleared during last one week. It has also hit the movement of vehicles towards Batote-Doda and Kishtwar,” he added.
Kumar said that landslides from the major problematic areas like Mompassi, Digdol, Mehar, Monkey Morh, Anokhi Fall etc were cleared and the movement of stranded vehicles was allowed this evening. He said by 8 pm about 600 Light Motor Vehicles and 400 heavy vehicles were cleared and the movement of vehicles was still going on till late this evening.
He said today no movement of heavy vehicles from Udhampur or Qazigund side was allowed. From tomorrow morning, movement of all type of vehicles from Jammu towards Kashmir will be allowed, if the weather remained fair. He claimed that Batote-Kishtwar and Bhaderwah roads were clear.
Meanwhile, Mughal Road connecting Poonch-Rajouri with Kashmir was still blocked due to heavy snowfall at Pir Panjal Pass. About a dozen vehicles have been stranded on this road for the last two days. Nearly, 250 vehicles, many of them loaded with the bovines were reported to have crossed towards Shopian from Rajouri and Poonch side two days ago when the road was opened for just one day.
Reasi-Mahore road was cleared for traffic today while Mahore-Gool and Mahore- Chassana-Budhal roads were still closed due to snowfall and landslides. The power supply in many rural and snow bound areas of Jammu region was still snapped.
Heavy hailstorm in Jammu, Marh, RS Pura, Bishnah, Ramgarh and parts of Samba, caused extensive damage to the standing crops. The weather improved in Jammu today while it was raining again in the evening. The minimum temperature in Jammu has recorded further decline today.
Jammu recorded a maximum 20.7 degree Celsius temperature and minimum 12.9 deg C, Srinagar maximum 5.4 deg C and minimum minus 0.5 deg C while Leh recorded maximum 10.5 deg C and minimum minus 1.0 degree C temperature today, a Met spokesman said.
Reports from Kashmir said that the higher reaches and some areas in the plains of Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall which began on Wednesday and continued throughout the night.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded about 10 inches of fresh snowfall during the night, the Weatherman said.
He said Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded 11 inches of snow, while Qazigund and Kokernag, both in the south–received five inches and seven inches of snowfall respectively. Srinagar and the areas around it recorded about two centimeters of snowfall, he added.
There were reports of snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the valley including Zojilla Pass, Amarnath Cave, Sonamarg, Gurez and Mughal Road. He predicted mainly dry weather in Kashmir till December 10.
Reports from Kargil said that hundreds of passengers got stuck in Kargil and Drass areas due to heavy snowfall in the Ladakh region and the closure of Zojila Pass.
District Administration Kargil has failed to provide attention to the stranded passengers and minimize their sufferings. Most of the passengers were sleeping in the buses/ vehicles, at night under -5 degrees temperature. They demanded early clearance of snow at Zojila and restoration of road or arrange their airlifting.