Thursday, February 24, 2011

J&K highway closed for vehicular traffic following heavy snowfall, rains

Srinagar/Jammu, February 24, 2011

The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, was on Thursday closed for vehicular traffic following heavy snowfall and rains.

"The highway is closed for traffic due to snowfall and rain," an official at the Traffic Control Room told PTI.

Snowfall around Jawahar Tunnel and higher reaches of Pir Panjal mountain range since yesterday has rendered the highway slippery and vehicular traffic has been stopped, he said.

Over 100 vehicles are stranded at different places on the highway, Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Highway, Kifayat Haider said in Jammu, adding that officials of the Border Road Organisation are working to clear the snow from the highway.

The 294-km road, which often gets closed during winter, is the only route used for bringing in goods supplies, fuel and other necessary items to the Valley.

The upper reaches of the Valley received heavy snowfall with the skiing resort of Gulmarg recording around 17.0 mm of snowfall and minimum temperature there plunging to minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, received 3.0 cm of snow.

"The snow had stopped at most of the places when the last update was received but it was raining at several places including Banihal and Pahalgam," an official of the MeT department said.

Summer capital Srinagar also witnessed a cold night with the minimum temperature of 2.6 degrees Celsius.

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