The Srinagar-Jammu highway is closed for traffic today due to muck brought in by landslides accumulated on road at some places, an official of the Traffic Control Room said.
He said landslides have occurred near Ramban and Battery Cheshma which have forced the closure of the highway, the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country. The official said many vehicles are stranded along the nearly 300-km long highway and would only be allowed to proceed further once the debris is cleared. The men and machinery of are on the job and once the debris is cleared off, the stranded vehicles will be allowed to proceed further subject to weather conditions, the official said.
The weather in Kashmir has remained dry during the last 48 hours but the Meteorological Department has forecast scattered to fairly widespread rains or snowfall in the state over the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, Srinagar, the summer capital of the state-recorded a low of 1 degree Celsius, a remarkable improvement after the 40-day harshest winter period known as Chillai-Kalan ended on January 31.
Leh town in Ladakh region registered a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 8.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, making it the coldest recorded place in the state, an official of the MET Office said. He said the famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp for annual Amarnath yatra, registered minimum temperature of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius — same as previous night.
The official said the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, was the coldest recorded place in the Valley with the minimum of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night’s minus 5.4 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature at Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag towns hovered near the freezing point at 0.2, 1.1 and minus 0.1 degree Celsius respectively, the official said.