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The season's first snow in Srinagar on November 3.

Jammu-Srinagar highway opens after a day's blockage because of snow, landslides

Road link opens after nine hours of clearing operations

By PTI in Srinagar
  • Published 4.11.18, 7:27 PM
  • Updated 4.11.18, 7:27 PM
  • a min read
  •  

The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was opened for one-way traffic on Sunday, a day after it closed because of heavy snowfall and landslides, officials said.

The only all-weather road linking the Kashmir Valley to the rest of the country, was opened for traffic coming from Srinagar to Jammu after nine hours of clearance operations, they said.

The operation along the Jawahar tunnel, and Qazigund and Banihal-Ramban stretches was launched around 5 am on Sunday, senior superintendent of police of Ramban, Anita Sharma, said.

Sharma said over 300 stranded passengers, including tourists, were evacuated from the Jawahar tunnel area and brought to Banihal late on Saturday night.

The 270-km highway was closed for vehicular traffic on Saturday evening after heavy snowfall in Qazigund-Jawahar tunnel sector coupled with landslides at Pantiyal, Ramsoo, Digdol and Battery Cheshma along the Banihal-Ramban stretch because of incessant rain.

The officials said about four feet of snow had accumulated on the ground in Peer Ki Gali area over the past couple of days. Over 120 people, mostly truckers, were rescued after they got stranded in the high-altitude area on Saturday, the officials said.

Snowfall has thrown life out of gear in Kashmir's Doda and adjoining districts in the Chenab Valley and farmers and orchardists fear serious financial losses.

The local meteorological department has figures for only 20 years after its establishment and such heavy snowfall in the first week of November has happened for the first time in the past two decades, meteorologist Ramesh Sharma said.

Local people claim such a heavy snowfall has happened in the area after more than four decades.

Overnight snowfall in hills and showers in the lower areas of Uttarakhand added to chill across the state on Sunday and brought boulders onto the roads at various places, blocking them.

It has been snowing intermittently in the higher reaches of the mountains in Uttarakhand including the four Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri since Saturday, while it has been raining moderately in the lower areas.

PTI
Photo Credit: PTI
Trucks wait on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
PTI
Photo Credit: PTI
Shikaras covered in snow in Srinagar.
PTI
Photo Credit: PTI
The ski resort of Gulmarg got nearly six inches of snow.
PTI
Photo Credit: PTI
Tourists on a pony ride after the season's first snowfal in Gulmarg.