Highway closed, air traffic to Srinagar suspended, fuel rationing in Kashmir, avalanche warning in UT, people urged not to use private vehicles to facilitate snow clearance
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Heavy snowfall in the Kashmir Valley and widespread rains in Jammu region on Tuesday threw life out of gear in the Union Territory with authorities sounding alert and issuing avalanche warnings in the higher reaches.Kashmir was cut off from rest of the country for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as the arterial Jammu-Srinagar national highway and Mughal road remained closed, while air traffic was suspended due to snowfall across the valley.Nearly 4500 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essentials to the valley, are stranded along the highway at various places.“The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is closed due to accumulation of snow at many places, especially around Jawahar Tunnel,” an official of the traffic control department said.He said snow clearance operations were in full swing and efforts were on to restore movement of stranded vehicles along the 260 kilometre road.Mughal Road, which connects the valley to Jammu division through Shopian-Rajouri axis, has been closed for several days due to heavy snowfall in the region.The officials said south Kashmir’s Kulgam district received highest snowfall with three to four feet of snow accumulated at some places.Anantnag district has also received heavy snowfall, they said.Srinagar city has witnessed moderate snowfall for the past three days but snow clearance operations have ensured that traffic movement was going on.Snow clearance operations have been ongoing along inter-district routes as well as major roads linking tehsil headquarters to district headquarters. The administration has ensured that the essential services are least affected by the snowfall in the city and elsewhere in the valley.However, slippery roads have resulted in traffic jams at some places. The flight operations to and from Srinagar remained suspended for second consecutive day due to poor visibility, the officials said.The Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority (DMA) has issued fresh medium and low-level avalanche warnings for the higher reaches of the avalanche-prone areas in the Union Territory.An official spokesperson said a medium-level avalanche warning has been issued for the higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara and Bandipora districts, besides the Waltengu Nad, south and north portals of the Jawahar Tunnel, Verinag, Kapran, Chowkibal-NC Pass, Gurez, Dawar and Neeru areas.“Similarly, a low-level avalanche warning has been issued for the upper reaches of Udhampur, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Sonamarg-Zojila, Z-Gali-Kalaroose, Kanzalwan, Tangmarg and Gulmarg,” he added.People living in these avalanche-prone areas have been advised not to venture out to avoid loss of lives, the spokesperson said.Amid heavy snowfall, authorities in Kashmir have ordered fuel rationing in the Valley to overcome any shortage of fuel due to closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway l.According to the order issued by Kashmir Divisional Commissioner P K Pole, buses, trucks and commercial vehicles will get a maximum of 20 litres, while private vehicles (four wheelers) will get only 10 litres. Three wheelers will get five litres of fuel while two wheelers will get only three litres.The administration has also put a cap of 21 days on refill for LPG cylinders.The tehsildars and tehsil supply officers concerned were directed to ensure implementation of the orders while line departments were instructed to crack whip on those indulging in malpractices like overcharging, black marketing or profiteering.In view of the prevailing weather situation in the capital city, the Srinagar administration has issued an urgent appeal to the general public to avoid using private cars and other non-essential transportation for the time being to facilitate unhindered snow-clearance operation.It has said that the snowfall situation as it exists in the district at the moment demands that non-essentials vehicles are kept off the roads to facilitate smooth operations to clear the snow.It said the Mechanical Engineering Department needs clear corridor for clearing snow from roads adding that the movement of private cars on roads is hindering the snow-clearance operations including movement of machinery from one place to another.Meanwhile the Srinagar administration has asked the general public to contact helpline numbers of different departments for urgent assistance that might be required in view of the snowfall situation.The departments can be contacted at PMGSY SRINAGAR 7006605349, MED 0194-2497458, PWD (R&B) 0194-2311364, 0194-2313751, KPDCL 6006613056, 6006613057, 6006613058, 6006613059, 6006613060, SMC 0194-2474499, FCS&CA 18001807011, TRAFFIC 0194-2455179, JAL SHAKTI DEPARTMENT 0194-2452047, 0194-2477207, DRAINAGE 0194-2474499, UEED 9419555565, 9682319763, and IRRIGATION & FLOOD CONTROL 0194-2502946, 0194-2502947.The general public can also contact the DC Office Srinagar at 6006333308, 9419028242, 9419028251, 9419014723.
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