Landslides shut Srinagar-Jammu highway

Srinagar: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic on Monday as landslides occurred at several places along the road link following rains.

An official of the Traffic Control Room said one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar was scheduled to ply on the highway today, but the vehicles have been halted near Nagrota in Jammu region due to landslides.

The official said men and machinery have been pressed into service to clear-off the muck left behind by the landslides and the road is expected to be re-opened for traffic later this afternoon.

Landslides occurred at some places along the nearly 300-km long highway, the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, due to overnight rains.

A spokesman of the Meteorological Department here said most parts of the Valley, including summer capital Srinagar, received rains overnight.

Owing to the overcast conditions, the night temperature across the Valley, except Gulmarg, remained above the freezing point.

Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of 5.8 degrees Celsius- up from 4.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, the spokesman said.He said Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir along Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, registered a low of 4.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of 3.7 degrees Celsius.

He said Kupwara town of north Kashmir registered a minimum of 2.7 degrees Celsius, same as that of the previous night.

The night temperature recorded at the famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir was 0.8 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said, adding the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the only place in the Valley where the night temperature was below the freezing point at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.

Leh in frontier region of Ladakh was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 3 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.

He said the town had recorded a low of 0.3 degrees Celsius yesterday which was above the freezing point for the first time this winter.

The spokesman said there is possibility of light rainfall or snow, especially in the higher reaches of Kashmir, over two days from today, after which the weather is likely to remain dry.