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Kashmir Remains Cut Off From Country Due to Snowfall

A car covered with snow is driven during a snowfall in Srinagar (Reuters)

Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the third consecutive day on Thursday as the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic and all flights to Srinagar Airport cancelled due to snowfall.

“The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is 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.

All the flights to and for Srinagar International Airport were cancelled for the day due to poor visibility.

“All the flights which were scheduled to arrive at and take off from Srinagar airport have been cancelled,” Director Srinagar Airport Sharad Kumar said. He said the air traffic to Kashmir remained suspended for the third consecutive day.

The opening of Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only all weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, seems unlikely today in view of inclement weather with snowfall being reported at some places en route.

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 Leh being
the coldest recorded place. The minimum temperature in Leh was minus 3.6 degrees Celsius.

In north Kashmir Gulmarg skiing resort, the mercury failed to breach the freezing point for second consecutive day as the maximum temperature yesterday stood at minus 0.4 degree Celsius, an official of the MET department said. The minimum temperature at the tourist haven of the Valley last night was minus 3 degrees Celsius.