The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the fifth day on Friday as fresh snowfall hampered efforts of authorities to clear the road for vehicular movement.
The arterial road was closed on Tuesday after a snow avalanche had blocked both tubes of the Jawahar Tunnel on Qazigund side. The official said intermittent snowfall was hampering road clearance operations.
“The Jammu-Srinagar highway is still closed for traffic. Efforts are on to make the road traffic worthy at the earliest,” an official of the traffic department told PTI.
Snowfall has been experienced in the rest of the valley also since Friday morning with Srinagar city getting nearly two inches of snow in the early hours, a MET department official said.
Meanwhile, cold wave conditions persisted in Kashmir as the minimum temperature at all places stayed well below the freezing point last night.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar last night settled at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius – slightly up from minus 1.5 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.
He said Qazigund – the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 1.2 degree Celsius, a surge of 1.8 degrees celsius over the previous night.
The nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius last night as the mercury rose over three degrees compared to previous night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.0 degree Celsius, he said.
Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10 degrees Celsius last night, a rise of 2.6 degrees over the previous night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 6.1 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of 12.9 degrees Celsius, a rise of over one degree over previous night.
The mercury in nearby Kargil settled at a low of minus 18.4 degrees Celsius.
Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as the minimum temperature settled at minus 19.8 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature on Thursday at Kargil was minus 3 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
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