|Moderate, heavy snowfall greets people of Kashmir; NH closed, air traffic disrupted|
|Mother Nature plays 'truant'; throws life out of gear|
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Feb 12: For a change a factor other than the 'turbulent' situation in Kashmir the normal life was disrupted in the valley today. The reason was snowfall.
Reports reaching here said that moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley. Due to the snowfall traffic on the 294 kilometers long highway connecting Srinagar with Jammu, the winter capital of the state remained suspended. Air traffic to and fro Srinagar was also disrupted.
Moderate to heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of the valley while as plains were lashed by light snowfall. The snowfall started during the preceding night and the same continued during the day today. The snowfall ended the prolonged dry spell in the Kashmir valley thus bringing happiness to the people.
On the Srinagar-Jammu national highway around two and half feet of snow was recorded near the Jawahar tunnel. Due to the continuous snowfall and slippery road condition of the road the highway was closed on Sunday night. Moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded on other places en-route the highway on Kashmir side. Srinagar city recorded a snowfall of around five inches.
Reports said that snowfall was more in South Kashmir than North Kashmir. Heavy snowfall has been recorded on the Mughal Road that links Kashmir valley with the Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu division. At least four feet of snow has been recorded at Pir Ki Gali, Zaznar and some other places on the Mughal Road. Two to three feet of snow has been recorded at Hirpora, Dubjan and some other areas of South Kashmir's Shopian district. The Shopian town recorded more than one feet of snow.
Other areas of South Kashmir such as Waltengoo, Manzgam, Damhal Hanjipora, Noorabad, Devsar, Khuir Batpora, Dooru, Verinag, Kokernag, Sangarwani, Larnoo, Simthan Top, Shangus, Pahalgam and Keller received moderate to heavy snowfall. At least six children were rescued by locals and police at Waltengoo.
In the North Kashmir also moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded at most places. The famous ski resort of Gulmarg received around two feet of snow. Places like Gurez, Chowkibal, Tangdar, Razdan Pass, Furkiyan Gali, Z Gali, Rajwar, Zachaldara, Sogam, Lolab and Khumriyal received around two to three feet of snow. Movement of the people in these areas got restricted due to the heavy snowfall.
An official of Meteorological (MeT) department said that moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded in the Kashmir valley. The official said that wet weather would continue up to the Tuesday afternoon after which there would be some improvement in the weather. Srinagar witnessed a day temperature of 2.8 degrees Celsius, around seven degrees less than the normal temperature.
Kashmir valley has witnessed very less and in fact negligent snow or rain this winter. The 40 day long Chillai Kalan that ended on January 29 passed off without any snow or rain. This development is unprecedented, but not unusual. Chillai Kalan is followed by 20 days of Chillai Khurd and 10 days of Chilli Bacha.
In the meantime, high danger avalanche warning has been issued by Snow Avalanche and Study Establishment (SASE) for Baramulla, Gulmarg, Kupwara, Chowkibal, Tangdhar, Furkian, Z Gali, Bandipora, Kanzalwan and Gurez sectors. Medium danger warning has been issued for Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Ganderbal and Kargil.
The SASE has issued low danger warning for Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and higher reaches of Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Leh, Reasi and Udhampur Districts. People living in these areas have been advised to avoid these routes and avalanche prone areas.