Snowfall affects Surface & Air traffic for 2nd day, Power outage across Kashmir Valley

  • Over 4000 vehicles stranded, No traffic on the highway today
  • 471 feeders, 80 transformers damage, Electricity to be restored today: Govt

The plains and higher reaches on Monday received fresh spells of moderate to heavy snowfall for the second consecutive day leading to the closure of Srinagar – Jammu highway and cancellation of all flights at Srinagar airport for the second consecutive day.

Due to the landslides, over 4,000 vehicles are stranded at various places along the Srinagar Jammu highway. The Meteorological Department has predicted moderate to heavy snowfall in higher reaches and parts of south Kashmir in the next 18 hours.

Director MeT, Sonam Lotus told Kashmir Post that widespread moderate to heavy snowfall will likely continue till 6th January. “Monday night to Tuesday afternoon will witness peak activity in both Jammu and Kashmir regions. We are expecting a significant improvement in present conditions from Wednesday onward.

At many places in south Kashmir, the depth of snow is over 1.5 feet to 2 feet, which hampered pedestrian movement. The administration had set up control rooms to help people across the Valley and asked them to remain on high alert.

As per MeT, ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded fresh 1 feet of snowfall, Tangmarg received 7 inches, Pahalgam 1.2 feet, Sonamarg 11 inches, Qazigund, 1 feet, Shopian 2 feet, Pulwama 1.5 feet, Tral 1.3 feet, Kulgam 1.6 feet, Kokernag, 1.6 feet,

Banihal 6 inches, 16 inches Srinagar, Kupwara 5 inches, Baramulla 6 inches, Ganderbal 5 inches, Budgam 5 inches, Anantnag 17 inches. Peer ki Galli also witnessed heavy snowfall and recorded more than 1 feet till Monday evening. Marwah in Kishtwar received 2 feet of fresh snowfall, while Warwan 2 feet 8 inches.

While Sinthan Top, Minimarg, Sadhna Top, Zojila Pass, and Dras also received heavy snowfall till Monday evening. As the night sky remained cloudy, minimum temperatures improved throughout J&K and Ladakh.

Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius up from the previous night’s minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam also had minus 6.7 degrees Celsius while Gulmarg settled at minus 5.0 degrees Celsius. Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, Kupwara minus 0.3 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management Authority has issued a low-level avalanche warning (yellow alert) for upper reaches of Ramban district. The MeT department has issued an orange alert which means people have been asked to maintain vigil in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Director Srinagar International Airport, Santosh Dhoke told Kashmir Post that following the low visibility at the track, all flights scheduled for Monday were canceled for the second consecutive day. He said men and machinery were on the job to clear the runway.

Dhoke said in view of the MeT prediction for snowfall for the next two days, flight operations would depend on runway visibility on Tuesday. Earlier on Sunday, 19 flights were canceled at the airport following the low visibility on the runway due to snowfall.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is closed for the second consecutive day as there have been fresh landslides on the highway.

Officials at Traffic Department said over 4,000 vehicles are stranded at various places along the Srinagar Jammu highway. On Sunday J&K traffic police had issued an advisory asking people not to travel on the national highway.

Meanwhile, as per the traffic advisory, no vehicular movement shall be allowed on Jammu-Srinagar highway in view of snow accumulation around the Jawahar Tunnel.

“Landslides, shooting stones, mudslides have blocked several places along the road and inclement weather prediction issued by the MeT department in J&K for next few days,” the advisory said.

Meanwhile, The heavy snowfall across Kashmir triggered widespread power outages at many places.

While the electricity was resorted in many parts of Srinagar, the rural areas continued to reel under darkness.

Around 471 feeders were damaged in snowfall effecting power outage in many areas in the Valley for the past 48 hours.

According to the government, of 951 feeders, 471 were damaged, while 80 transformers also developed snag across Kashmir.

Chief Engineer, Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) Aijaz Ahmad Dar said that there was a 100 per cent outage in South Kashmir.

“So far we have restored 337 feeders, rest will be restored on Tuesday,” Dar said.

“In Kulgam and Anatnang, the entire 33 line and 11 KV line were affected. Moreover, 197 feeders were damaged in the entire South Kashmir,” Dar said. “Of 197 damaged feeders, 173 have been restored till this evening.”

In Srinagar, of 255 feeders, three had developed snag.

However, Dar said that 100 per cent electricity has been restored in the city.

In North Kashmir, of 250 damaged feeders, 222 have been restored. “In both Baramulla and Kupwara power supply has been restored,” Dar said. “Our men are at work. By tomorrow, 100 percent electricity will be restored across the valley,” Dar said.

Meanwhile, locals rejected the claims of administration while complaining of the continuous power outages from their areas.

“I don’t know in which areas the electricity has been restored. As far as Budgam is concerned, we haven’t seen any light for the past two days,” a local Aala Ahmad told Kashmir Post.

Similar complaints were received from other rural areas also.

After the season’s first snowfall, many far-flung areas in south Kashmir are still reeling under darkness.

Irfan Shafi, who hails from Kulgam, said many far-flung villages are still spending nights in darkness since Sunday.

There is a requirement of around 2100 MWs of electricity in the Valley and KPDCL provides only 1400 MWs.

The shortage of 700 MWs results in frequent power cuts during the winter season.

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