Srinagar-Jammu National Highway thrown open for one-way traffic

Srinagar: The arterial Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was thrown open for one-way traffic today, five days after snowfall in the Valley had led to the closure of the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and the rest of the country.

“The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been opened for traffic and vehicles have been allowed to ply from Jammu towards Srinagar,” an official of the Traffic Control department told PTI. He said following the improvement in the weather, the highway was cleared off snow and debris left by landslides and one-way traffic was allowed this morning. The nearly 300-km road was closed for traffic in the wake of snowfall on Tuesday.

It remained shut for five days, choking the supply of essentials to the Valley where prices of these commodities have more than doubled in the past week.
Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall on Tuesday which continued intermittently yesterday as well.

The snowfall also hit flight operations at Srinagar airport here.

While morning flights were delayed yesterday, all afternoon flights were cancelled due to snowfall.This morning as well, the flights have been delayed, an official at the airport said.

Meanwhile, most areas of Kashmir received rains and snowfall yesterday, but the weather stayed mainly dry for most part of the night.

Leh in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in Kashmir division last night even as the minimum temperature there improved. The mercury in Leh settled at minus 5.2 degrees Celsius – up nearly five degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 10.1 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET department said.

Gulmarg in north Kashmir Baramulla district was the second coldest place with a minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius.

Other places, including the summer capital Srinagar, also witnessed night temperatures around the freezing point, the official said. The MET Office has forecast scattered rainfall or snow over two days from today, after which, it said, there is possibility of fairly widespread rainfall or snow on January 31.