Rains, fresh snowfall throw life out of gear in J-K, Himachal
Normal life was disrupted in several districts of Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh on Monday as parts of the two states received heavy snowfall though the country's northern plain witnessed slight increase in minimum temperatures giving some respite to people.
In Himachal Pradesh, entire tribal belt of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Bharmaur and upper areas of Shimla, Kullu and Sirmaur were cut off from rest of the state as mid and higher hills received second heavy snowfall of the season and the lower hills widespread rains.
Vehicular traffic to upper Shimla region was suspended in the morning and efforts are on to open the Hindustan-Tibet highway upto Theog while the Rohroo and Chopal roads are closed due to heavy snow at Kharapatthar and Nerwa.
The mercury in the state capital dropped below the freezing point as a white blanket of snow covered it and surrounding areas of Kufri and Narkanda. Bharmaur and Manali recorded 55 cm and 54 cm of snowfall, followed by Rohtang and Churdhar 50 cm, Kothi 45 cm.
Normal life was disrupted in Kashmir due to fresh snowfall which led to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and cancellation of five planes.
A MeT Department official in the state said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir received around two feet of fresh snowfall during the night. "Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been closed for traffic due to bad weather," an official said.
He said there was around two feet snowfall near Jawahar Tunnel and other areas along the highway the only all-weather road-link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country so the authorities decided to suspend the traffic.
The air traffic to and fro Srinagar International Airport was also affected due to the snowfall and five flights were cancelled. The summer capital recorded about three inches of snowfall during the night and it registered the minimum temperature of minus 0.9 degree Celsius.