Air traffic suspended at Srinagar Airport for 4th straight day

JAN 6: Air traffic remained suspended at Srinagar International Airport for the fourth day on Wednesday due to fresh snowfall and poor visibility.

As the Srinagar-Jammu national highway also remained closed for the past four days due to snowfall and landslides, the airfare from Srinagar to Jammu and other parts of the country witnessed a major hike.

No flight could operate at Srinagar airport on Wednesday so far, officials said.

They said there was fresh snowfall since last night and visibility is also poor. Since snowfall continued and the visibility is very poor, no flight could operate today also, they added. It was again snowing in Srinagar since this morning.

The snow clearance on the runway has also not been started yet today, they said adding flight operation will be resumed only when the visibility improves and snow on the runway is cleared.

Large number of passengers, who are scheduled to travel to different parts of the country, particularly New Delhi, Amritsar and Jammu, again arrived at the Airport today. ‘We are reaching airport in the morning only to return home in the afternoon daily for the past four days’, they said, adding that there is no word from the Airport authorities about the status of their flights. ‘We had to return to our homes in the evening since Sunday after all flights were being cancelled’.

Tourists also face the similar situation and had to return o their hotels yesterday and are uncertain today also. However, tourism department and house boat owners have offered free accommodation to stranded tourists in the valley.

Passengers alleged that Srinagar-Delhi fare which was just Rs 3500 Rs 5000 about few days ago now costs over Rs 12000 to Rs 16000. If you search online fare of different Airlines between Srinagar to other parts of the country, you will find a huge jump despite repeated assurance by the authorities to keep a strict check on airfare when the highway is closed.

People associated with tourism industry also expressed concern over the steep increase in airfare. We were expecting a good winter season but unjustified increase in airfare will force tourists to travel to other places in the country because of low air fare, they said and demanded immediate intervention by Union Territory (UT) and central governments.