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Kashmir Valley Cut Off Due to Snowfall, Rough Weather

Kashmiri men clear snow from a vegetable field after a fresh snowfall in Srinagar/REUTERS/File photo

Srinagar: Surface and air links between Kashmir and rest of the country were cut off on Wednesday due to snowfall in the valley as the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic and all flights to Srinagar Airport cancelled.

“The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been closed for traffic due to snowfall which has rendered the road slippery. Efforts are on the make the road traffic worthy at the earliest,” an official of the Traffic Control Department said.

Most of the flights to and for Srinagar International Airport have been been cancelled due to poor visibility.

“Two airlines have put their flights to Srinagar on a stand by while rest of the carriers has cancelled their flights for the day,” an official of the Airport Authority of India said.

With more snowfall forecast over the next 24 hours, the opening of Srinagar-Jammu Highway — the only all weather road link between the Kashmir and rest of the country – seems unlikely on Wednesday.

The closure of the road link has resulted in rise in prices of essential commodities like vegetables and food grains.

The stocks of cooking gas have depleted significantly as the trucks carrying the supplies have been either held up in Jammu or stranded en route the 294-km road.

Officials in the Divisional Administration maintain that there are enough stocks of essentials while market checking squads have been formed to keep the prices under control.

Meanwhile, most parts of Kashmir Division including Ladakh continued to reel under subzero temperatures with Gulmarg in north Kashmir being the coldest recorded place.

The minimum temperature in the skiing resort fell to minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.

The mercury has failed to breach the freezing point for more than 24 hours there as the maximum temperature on Tuesday stood at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET department said.

Leh in Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius.