Srinagar, Feb 23 : At a time when winter seemed fading away and spring winking in, Kashmir Valley received moderate to heavy snowfall since overnight, throwing normal life out of gear on Wednesday.
Most people preferred to stay indoors and those who had to venture out due to urgency faced difficulties amid continuous snowfall for the better half of the day, reports said. Public transport was largely off the roads amid continuous snowfall. While authorities pressed men and machinery to clear snow from the roads under Priority Phase-I, most of the interior roads remained snow-clogged, reports said.
Divisional Commissioner (Div Com) Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole said that all the essential services are being restored on a war footing basis for the convenience of the general public.
He said that the Mechanical Engineering Department completed 70% Snow clearance under Priority Phase-I while PWD cleared Snow from all the roads falling under its jurisdiction.
Besides, he informed that apart from 5 to 6 percent water supply lines which have been affected, all other Water Supply Schemes are functional. He said that the affected WSSs will be restored soon for which men and machinery has been put on work.
He appealed to the general people to keep patience and support the administration to restore affected services.
He also appealed to people not to park their vehicles on the road sides so that the Mechanical Engineering Department, PWD, SMC and other departments will not face any hindrance during Snow clearance.
Besides, he further appealed to people not to throw Snow of their lawns on the streets or lanes as it creates difficulties for the people and snow clearing teams.
A meteorological department official here told GNS Srinagar received 25 cms (9.84 inches) of snowfall till 1730 hours. It recorded a drop of 3.8 degrees Celsius in night temperature with mercury settling at 0.0°C against last night’s minus 3.8°C. The temperature was above 0.9°C than the normal for this time of the year in Srinagar, he said.
Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, received 55.5 cms (21.85 inches) of snowfall during the time while as it recorded a low of 0.0°C against 2.2°C on the previous night, he said.
Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, received 65.4 cms (25.74 inches) snowfall and had a low of minus 1.0°C against 2.2°C on the previous night, the official said.
Pahalgam, the famous resort in south Kashmir, received 44.9 cms (17.67 inches) while as it recorded a low of minus 0.8°C against minus 2.4°C last night, he said.
Gulmarg had 48.6cms (19.13 inches) of fresh snowfall while as it recorded a low of minus 5.2°C against minus 5.0°C on the previous night, he said.
The temperature was 1.5°C above normal for this time of the year in the famous resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, he said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir received 7.2cms (2.83inches) of snowfall recorded a low of 0.1°C against 2.2°C on the previous night, the official said.
While ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day long harshest period of winter ended on January 30, and 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ culminated on February 19, Kashmir is presently under the grip of 10-day-long ‘Chilla Bachha’.
Jammu recorded a low of 13.2°C against 12.8°C on the previous night, the official said. The temperature was 2.2°C above normal for the J&K’s winter capital during this time of the year, he said.
Banihal received 8 cms (3.14 inches) of snowfall recorded a low of 0.0°C, Batote recorded 7.3°C and Bhaderwah, with 0.5cm of snowfall, witnessed a low of 5.1°C, the official said.
Ladakh’s Leh had light snowfall and recorded a low of minus 6.9°C against last night minus 8.6°C on previous night while mercury at automatic station in Kargil settled at minus 11.2°C. Kargil received 6 inches of snowfall. Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, recorded a low of minus 7.2°C against minus 14.0°C on the previous night, official said. It had 9 inches of fresh snowfall, he said.
“After widespread heavy rain and snow, there’s significant decrease in precipitation,” the MeT official said, “Expect further decrease”. He said overall, there will improvement from Thursday onwards in whole J&K. (GNS)