The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the second consecutive day on Thursday though there was slight improvement in the weather condition after two days of intermittent snowfall in the higher reaches. The nearly 300-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed for traffic on Wednesday due to snowfall and rain at various places coupled with landslides and shooting stones.
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The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which maintains the arterial road, has pressed its men and machines to restore traffic on the road but landslides and shooting of stones, triggered by rains, hampered the efforts.
No movement of traffic, either from Jammu or Srinagar, was allowed on Wednesday as well, a spokesman for the Traffic Control Room at Jammu said.
Efforts are on to clear the highway of the blockades at various places including Battery Cheshma, Anookhi fall, Digdol, Panthyal, Ramsoo, Gangroo, Karol, Mehar, Chanderkot, Peerah, Sarga and Nashri.
Snow clearance is also in progress at Jawahar Tunnel and Patnitop sectors to make the road traffic worthy, the spokesman said, adding it might be opened tomorrow if there is no fresh snowfall or rains.
There was no report of snowfall and rain from anywhere since the morning, much to the relief of people, especially those living in the high-altitude areas, where authorities had issued an avalanche warning yesterday, following snowfall ranging between five inches to one-and-a-half feet.
However, MET department officials said there could be rain or snow in some areas in the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the night temperatures at most places in the Kashmir division continued their downward trend with Srinagar recording a low of 1.8 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 3.1.
The normal night temperature for this part of the season is 3 degrees Celsius.
The city recorded a high of 5.8 degrees Celsius yesterday which was eight notches below normal, a spokesman of the MET department said.
He said Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in the state as the minimum temperature at the snow-bound ski resort settled at minus 4.6 degrees Celsius. The hill resort had recorded a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius yesterday.
Kargil and Leh townships in Ladakh region recorded a minimum of minus 4.2 and minus 4 degrees Celsius respectively, the spokesman said.
The Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp during the annual Amarnath yatra, also recorded a sub-zero night temperature at minus 0.2 degrees Celsius.