Thursday, January 12, 2012

Met forecasts snow on Sunday

Cold wave to intensify further
With day temperature dipping further, Kashmir continues to freeze in what is seen as one of the harshest winters, presenting the people with lot of difficulties.The valley has been devoid of clear sun shine since the major snowfall on Saturday while the day temperatures have consistently stayed below zero.The maximum temperature recorded at 11 this morning was minus 1.4 degree Celsius, which increased only slightly to minus 0.4 degree Celsius by 2:30 PM. It is far less than the normal temperature of 5 degree Celsius at this time of the year.
The nights are even colder. The minimum temperature recorded during Wednesday night was minus 3.8 degree Celsius, which is less than the 3.3 degree Celsius of the previous night.Round-the-clock minus temperature has frozen the snow on the roads, the water taps, water bodies and almost everything. And, the icicles hanging from the rooftops amidst overcast sky have brought back the memories of the past.“This kind of a winter was common in 1970s and 1980s. That time, snowfall in December or January was usually followed by long freezing temperatures that would prevent the snow from melting till March. And the long and thick icicles hanging from rooftops were symbolizing the winter. Now, it seems the era has returned,” 60-year-old, Habibulah Roshanghar, of Fateh Kadal said.
The hostile conditions are presenting a tough challenge to the people. The movement on slippery roads has become difficult and dangerous especially in the wee hours.Reportedly, the bone and joints hospitals—the valley’s only specialised orthopedic hospital—received more than 160 patients, majority of them with major fractures, in just two days after the snowfall.Fearing injuries, many, mostly elderly, prefer to stay home.“I have honestly not stepped out of the house since Saturday. Outside the room I cannot afford to take my hand out of the pocket for even a moment, and the frozen snow on the roads feels like shiny glass, difficult to walk on,” said Gulzar Ahmad of Batmaloo.The traffic movement on the city roads has also been both scarce and sluggish. This morning, a mini-bus, no JKOID 7966, overturned at Rangerstop near Khanyar in old city while negotiating a slippery curve. The driver and three others received minor injuries in the mishap.The police, however, could not confirm the incident.

After remaining open yesterday, the Srinagar-Jammu highway has been closed again for the passenger vehicles.The officials in the traffic control unit said only vehicles carrying essential goods were allowed to move from Jammu towards Srinagar.“There are repairs going on at Battery Cheshma and some other place, so the passenger vehicles were not allowed,” an official said.
BANIHAL: Reports from Banihal said that today 400 vehicles including, 250 trucks carrying essential commodities, 121 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and 28 load carrier were allowed to roll from Jammu towards Srinagar. These vehilces crossed the Jawahar tunnel while at-least 1000 trucks were stranded on the other side of tunnel towards Verinag.
The truckers stranded on the other side of Jawahar Tunnel alleged that they were stranded there since last six days and were not allowed to proceed towards Jammu despite clearance of highway.The highway was blockade on Saturday last, due to inclement weather conditions. The traffic problem is getting compounded due to slippery road and avalanche threats at many places.No fresh vehicles carrying passengers or goods were allowed to move both from Jammu & Srinagar and only the stranded vehilces heading towards valley were cleared by the traffic authorities on priority. Meanwhile, power supply in the Upper Banihal area was restored today after seven days of interruption. However, Lower Banihal including town was without power since Friday. 

:As the Kashmir valley is reeling under cold wave conditions for past six days, the Meteorological Department has forecast that the cold and dry weather conditions will intensify for next two days.However, the Director MeT office in Srinagar, Sonam Lotus, said here that another western disturbance on Saturday will result in light to moderate snowfall on Sunday in Kashmir valley.

The snow is expected to give relief to the people who are facing water shortage due to freezing temperatures. The water pipes and taps are frozen for past five days and people in most localities are without water.

The freezing temperatures have frozen the stagnant water bodies and today more parts of the Dal lake were frozen with continuous freezing temperatures.

The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar was minus 3.8 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature was recorded at minus 0.5 degree Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Pahalgam was minus 12.1 degrees and the maximum was recorded at minus 1.0 degree Celsius.

The gateway to Kashmir, the South Kashmir town of Qazigund recorded minimum temperature of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius and maximum temperature of minus 0.9 degree Celsius.

The tourist resort of Kokernag recorded a minimum temperature of minus 9.0 degree Celsius and maximum temperature of minus 2.4 degree Celsius.

The North Kashmir township of Kupwara recorded a maximum temperature of 0.6 degree Celsius and minimum temperature of minus 3.9 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg recorded minus 16.4 degree Celsius while Leh minus 10.4 degree Celsius. Kargil was the coldest in the State at minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained opened for one way traffic today. The trucks with essential commodities were allowed to ply on the highway from Jammu to Srinagar. Over 100 trucks had crossed the tunnel upto this evening.

The Border Roads Organization (BRO) conducted repairs of the highway today at several places and sprinkled salt at several places to tackle with the slippery road.

Meanwhile, a meeting was held at Qazigund in which Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi and SP Kulgam Masoodul Hassan besides other officers participated. The meeting reviewed the regulation of the traffic on the highway. The representatives from various agencies participated in the meeting. 

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