The traffic on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was suspended Wednesday as the high altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall, while the plains were lashed by incessant rains, officials said.
All the traffic, which was allowed from Jammu to Srinagar Wednesday morning, was stopped at Udhampur due to lurking threat of landslides, especially in the problematic zone of Panthiyal and Ramsu in Ramban district, a Traffic Department official said.
He said light snowfall was going on at Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to Kashmir Valley, while rest of the highway was lashed by incessant rains since Tuesday night.
“Intermittent shooting of stones from the hillock overlooking the highway was also reported near Panthiyal since morning, rendering the road unsafe,” the official said.
Authorities are monitoring the situation and a decision to allow the traffic would be taken once the weather improves and the road is cleared of the debris, he said.
The traffic on the 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, plies alternatively from the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar in view of the ongoing work on the four-laning project.
The officials said about four inches of snow had accumulated on the ground at Jawahar Tunnel and its peripheral areas which along with other high altitude areas witnessed fresh snowfall since Tuesday night.
The snowfall was reported from almost all high altitude areas while the plains, including Jammu, were lashed by rains, resulting in considerable drop in the mercury, they said.
The weatherman has predicted light to moderate snow in the higher reaches and rains in the plains during the day with very light rains at a few places on Thursday.
Banihal town along the highway received the highest 17.7 mm of rains during the past 24 hours ending 0830 hours Wednesday, while Jammu received a rainfall of 12.8 mm during the same period, a spokesman at the weather office said.
The night temperature in Jammu fell by 1.2 notches to settle at 12.4 degrees Celsius, he said.