SRINAGAR SHIVERS AT -5.7 DEGREES CELSIUS, HIGHWAY REMAINS BLOCKED
SRINAGAR/JAMMU/BHADARWAH/ SHIMLA: Cold wave conditions returned to Kashmir valley as the minimum temperatures on Friday night plunged several degrees below freezing point, resulting in formation of black ice on the roads and hampering the movement of traffic, officials said on Saturday.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.7 °C on Friday night, registering a drop of nearly five degrees compared to the previous night, an official at the Met department said.
The Jammu-srinagar national highway remained closed for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday as efforts were on to restore the road, officials said. Men and machinery were put in place to clear the landslides at nearly a dozen places between Ramban and Banihal, while the snow clearance operation around Jawahar Tunnel in Kulgam district was going on at war footing, inspector general of police (traffic) Alok Kumar told PTI.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) also launched special sorties to airlift students, civilians and tourists, who were stranded due to the closure of Jammu-srinagar national highway.
“The IAF came into assistance of GATE aspirants, locals and tourists, who were stuck in Srinagar due to bad weather and closure of the highway,” defence spokesperson said.
KULGAM AVALANCHE: ANOTHER BODY FOUND
The body of a policeman, who was missing following an avalanche near Jawahar Tunnel in Kulgam district two days ago, was found on Saturday, taking the death toll in the incident to eight, police said. Meanwhile, on the directions of governor Satya Pal Malik, the government on Saturday announced an ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each for the kin of those killed in snow avalanches and shooting stones at various places across the state during the recent snowfall.
SNOW DAMAGES OVER 50% FRUIT ORCHARDS IN BHADARWAH
About 50% fruit orchards were damaged due to recent snowfall in the valley and adjoining areas in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior government official said. “Nearly 50% fruit trees have suffered irreparable losses in the latest snowfall,” Bhadarwah horticulture development officer Rohan Kumar said, quoting preliminary information received from the field staff.
HP GETS MORE SNOW
Himachal Pradesh’s received more snowfall on Saturday leading to a drop in temperatures by several notches. A spokesperson said services of state-run buses in upper Shimla, Chamba and Kinnaur districts were still hampered after Wednesday’s heavy snowfall.