Day 3: Srinagar-Jammu highway remains closed

Div Com issues avalanche warning; weatherman predicts light rain, snow in upper reaches

Shabir Ibn Yusuf
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 15 2018 12:15AM | Updated Date: Feb 15 2018 12:15AM
Day 3: Srinagar-Jammu highway remains closedPhoto: Muhammad Taskeen/GK

The Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for vehicular traffic for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, even as weatherman predicted cloudy weather and light rain and snowfall at upper reaches during next 24 hours.

The 260-km highway was closed on Monday due to snow, landslides and slippery road conditions.  “The highway is closed for traffic,” senior superintendent of police traffic (Rural), Ajaz Ahmad Bhat told Greater Kashmir late this evening.

He said fresh landslides at Panthal, Anokhapal and near Kheri in Udhampur district have blocked the highway again.  “Clearance work is going on at all places,” the SSP added.

Reports said that hundreds of vehicles, including passenger vehicles, remained stranded at different places on the highway though some passengers covered the landslide-hit area by foot to reach their destinations after boarding other vehicles.

Officials said that organizations responsible for the maintenance of the highway, have already pressed into service sophisticated machines and men to clear the landslides.

The traffic officials here said that on Wednesday, highway travelers are requested to contact TCU Srinagar (01942450022, 2485396), TCU Ramban (9419993745) and TCU Jammu (01912459048) and officers of Traffic wing to get the status of the road before starting their journey on Thursday.

Meanwhile, flights from Srinagar airport operated normally. “No flight was canceled on Wednesday,” said an official.

On Wednesday chilly weather conditions prevailed in Kashmir and temperatures fell below freezing point. “There are likely chances of light rain and snow at isolated places during the next 48 hours in Kashmir,” director, MeT department, Sonam Lotus told Greater Kashmir.

Officials said Gulmarg witnessed an improvement in the night temperature, which surged and settled at minus 9.4 degree while as night temperature at the ski resort was still 3 degrees below normal.

They said minimum temperatures in Srinagar city improved and settled at 0 degree, against minus 0.6 degree recorded on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the maximum temperature recorded was 4 degree below normal in city.

MeT officials said mercury at health resort of Pahalgam settled at minus 8.2 , Qazigund minus 3.6 and in Kokernag 0.2.

Jammu, they said recorded 6.5, Katra 7, Batote 0.3, Banihal minus 0.5, Bhaderwah minus 1.3 and Udhampur 4.6 degrees Celsius. Kargil recorded minus 10, while Leh was coldest at 10.8 degrees Celsius, they added.

Avalanche warning

As per a communication of divisional commissioner Kashmir, there is a danger of avalanches from February 14 to February 15 in avalanche prone areas of Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Leh and Kargil districts of Kashmir division.

 The deputy commissioners of the concerned districts have been asked to advise people not to venture out in avalanche prone areas.

Meanwhile, on the basis of information received from SASE, high danger avalanche warning has been issued by SASE for Furkian-Z Gali, in Kupwara district and Baramulla district, including Gulmarg sector.

Medium danger warning has been issued for Kupwara-Chowkibal-Tangdhar, Bandipora-Kanzalwan-Gurez and Low danger warning for Ramban, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Kargil, Leh districts and Srinagar-Jammu highway.

People living in these avalanche prone areas have been advised by the Disaster Management Authority to take precautionary measures.