Jammu has sunny day; parts of Valley witness snowfall
STATE TIMES NEWS Banihal/Jammu: A 25-year-old man was killed on Wednesday when his car was hit by a landslide on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district on Wednesday, police said. Shakeel Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Noorbagh locality of Srinagar, died on-the-spot after boulders rolling down the hillock hit his vehicle on the highway at Panthiyal, an official said. The highway remained closed for vehicular traffic for the second day on Wednesday following multiple landslides triggered by rains along the Panthiyal-Ramsu stretch and slippery conditions due to snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel area. Bhat was on way to Srinagar from Jammu. The fresh landslide occurred shortly after the road was cleared of the debris, the official said. He said the quick reaction team of police and local volunteers recovered the body from the mangled car after hectic efforts and shifted it to public health centre in Ramsu. Multiple landslides at several places hampered restoration work on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which remained closed for the second day on Wednesday, officials said.
“The men and machines are on the job and efforts are on to make the highway motorable as soon as possible,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (traffic), National Highway, Shemsher Singh said.
He said the Jawahar Tunnel, which experienced nearly one feet of fresh snowfall, was cleared for one-way traffic and around 1500 Kashmir-bound vehicles including trucks carrying essential commodities were allowed to move towards their destinations with drivers asked to drive carefully due to slippery conditions.
Heavy rains in Ramban triggered shooting of stones from hillocks overlooking the highway between Panthiyal and Ramsu throughout the day on Tuesday, while fresh landslides occurred at different places along the stretch, blocking the road, he said.
In Jammu city and other parts of the region it was a sunny day.
Jammu city recorded a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius — one degree below normal, but the maximum temperature which had slipped over four degrees below normal on Tuesday is likely to settle around the season’s normal at 18.8 degrees Celsius due to clear skies, an official of the Meteorological department said.
He said Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a low of 5 degrees Celsius.
The shrine and adjoining areas experienced heavy snowfall on Tuesday.
The highway town of Batote in Ramban district was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a night temperature of minus 2 degrees Celsius followed by Bhaderwah in Doda district at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius and Banihal at minus 1 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, few areas in Kashmir including Srinagar received fresh snowfall overnight, leading to an increase in the minimum temperature, the MET Office said.
Most of the higher reaches and few areas in the plains of Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Wednesday, a MET Official said.
He said snowfall was witnessed in Gulmarg and Pahalgam tourist resorts of the valley as well.
The snowfall and the overcast conditions led to an increase in the minimum temperature in Srinagar on Wednesday, the official said.
He said the minimum temperature recorded in the city was minus 0.4 degree Celsius up from minus 1.2 degrees Celsius yesterday.
The official said the mercury in Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir settled at the low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, while the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir registered a minimum of minus 8 degrees Celsius, he said.
Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the Kashmir Valley.
The night temperature in Kokernag in south settled at a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north recorded a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, the official added.
The MET Office has forecast mainly dry and cold weather in the valley over the next two days.
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