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Srinagar-Leh highway, Mughal road still closed
Rising night temperatures bring relief in Ladakh, J&K
12/4/2019 9:24:09 PM
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Dec 4: The national highway, the only road connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir valley remained closed due to accumulation of several feet of snow and slippery road conditions.
Meanwhile, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed since November 6 due to snow.
A traffic police official said Wednesday morning that Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through for traffic. Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will ply from both sides while Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) only one-side, he said.
The national highway, connecting Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh with Kashmir remained suspended on Wednesday because of accumulation of several feet of snow which has frozen due to below freezing temperature.
He said a massive snow clearance operation continued on the highway between Sonamarg, Zojila, Captain Mode, Meenmarg and Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia. However, due to minus 15 to 20 temperature, particularly during the night, the road has become slippery, making snow clearance operation a little difficult.
The snow clearance operation is likely to complete by this evening.
The highway, the only road connecting UT Ladakh with Kashmir, remained closed for six months during winter due to below freezing temperature and accumulation of snow since November 1 every year in the past. However, for the past few years due to efforts of the local administration and different agencies of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), highway now remains open in the month of December till there is heavy snowfall.
Decision to close traffic for winter months will have to be taken by the administration of UT Ladakh and Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir. Earlier, before the division of the state into two UTs the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, was taking decision to close the highway for winter months.
The Mughal road remained closed though massive snow clearance operation was going on from both sides of Pir-ki-Gali.
Meanwhile the mercury climbed across most parts of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Wednesday, bringing some relief to the region a day after it witnessed the coldest night of the season.
The minimum in Leh town of Ladakh region increased by 2.8 degrees to settle at minus 12.8 degrees Celsius, while Srinagar recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, against the previous night's minus 3 degrees Celsius, a Meteorological Department (Met) official said.
He said winter capital Jammu also marked a slight improvement in the night temperature which settled at 7.5 degrees Celsius, 2.3 notches below the normal during this time of the year.
The night temperature started falling across Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh after a snowfall in the higher reaches and rains in the plains last week. Day temperatures are near normal and the Met office has forecast dry weather till December 10.
The Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir was the coldest recorded place in the Valley with a low of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius despite registering an increase of 0.8 notches, the official said.
The minimum temperature also appreciated by 2.6 degrees in the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, presently covered by several feet of snow, to settle at minus 6 degrees Celsius, he said.
The official said Kupwara town of north Kashmir was reeling under a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, highway town of Qazigund at minus 2.5 degrees Celsius and Kokernag resort at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius.
Katra, which serves as the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of Jammu region, recorded a low of 7.7 degrees Celsius, the official said, adding that Bhadarwah township of Doda district was, however, the coldest recorded place in the region with a minimum of 0.8 degrees Celsius.
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