Year’s first snowfall hits Srinagar-Jammu traffic

Srinagar, Jan 3 (IANS) The first snowfall of the year in the Kashmir Valley Sunday led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway due to snow and slippery road conditions.

‘The highway was closed Sunday afternoon due to extremely slippery road conditions around the Jawahar Tunnel area,’ said an official of the local traffic department.

The valley was reeling under intense cold wave conditions for the last fortnight with the mercury dipping to around minus five degrees Celsius.

‘Light to moderate snowfall is expected across the valley during the next 12 hours,’ said an official of the weather department here.

Rain and snowfall are likely to replenish the perennial water reservoirs of the valley as the water level in most of the rivers had fallen down alarmingly because of the extended dry spell. This will improve the hydro-electric power generating capacity of the projects, said a senior officer of provincial administration.

Jammu and Kashmir was witnessing one of its worst electric power crisis this winter and the failure of the Northern Grid Saturday added to the woes of the locals.

The snowfall has also brought cheer to hundreds of tourists who have come to enjoy the season in the valley or winter sports at Gulmarg.

‘It is amazing. I am seeing the snowfall for the first time in my life. It seems to be falling from an inverted cloud cup that envelopes the entire Valley,’ said Sachan Sharma, who is here on a holiday.

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