Srinagar: After remaining cut-off from rest of the world for two days due to heavy snowfall, Kashmir’s connectivity with outside world was restored on Wednesday after 294-kms long Srinagar-Jammu Highway was thrown open for one-way traffic on Wednesday.
A traffic police officer said due to the slippery road conditions in Jawahar Tunnel area and other places on Srinagar-Jammu highway, they allowed only stranded supply trucks to move towards Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir.
Kashmir is facing shortage of LPG, kerosene and other essential commodities in view of closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road link connecting Kashmir with rest of the world.
The highway was closed for all kinds of vehicular movement after recent snowfall on Saturday evening.
“The road remains unsafe for full fledged restoration of traffic from either side. We are trying to clear the stranded heavy vehicles carrying essential supplies to the Valley. We have cleared at least 300 trucks and many more are moving slowly,” he said.
He said it might take a while before they can let traffic ply smoothly on the highway. “It depends on the weather conditions. The road is slippery due to light snow in Jawahar tunnel area and we will clear the road fully and then only restore two-way traffic,” he said.
Meanwhile, official warned that chances of avalanches have increased manifold after the sun has come out. “When sun shines after snowfall, the chances of avalanches increase. However, we are ready to face any challenge,” he said.
Meanwhile, a weather department official said minimum temperature in Srinagar was – 1.4 degrees Celsius, a drop of 0.2 degrees from yesterday.
He said the minimum temperature in Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir plunged to – 12.4 degrees Celsius, a drop of 3.7 degrees from yesterday.
“In Pahalgam tourist resort of South Kashmir, the minimum temperature was recorded at – 12.2 degrees Celsius. Qazigund recorded a low of – 4.2 degrees Celsius while Kupwara town recorded a minimum of – 2.4 degrees Celsius,” he said.
The snowfall earlier this week came as a big relief for the people of Kashmir, bringing an end to the intense cold wave during which the mercury plunged to minus 7.8 degrees Celsius in Srinagar city.
The official said Leh town in Ladakh region recorded a minimum of – 19.9 degrees Celsius, a drop of 11.3 degrees from yesterday. “The minimum temperature in Kargil district slipped to a low of – 19.0 degrees Celsius,” he said.