Monday, March 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India





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Snow cuts off Kashmir valley

A view of snow-covered Gulmarg
A view of snow-covered Gulmarg, the world famous ski resort in Kashmir, which recorded 75 cm of snowfall on Sunday. PTI photo

Srinagar, March 10
Srinagar and its adjoining areas and higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh experienced fresh snowfall early this morning.

Heavy snowfall at different places on the 300-km-long Srinagar Jammu National Highway cut off the Kashmir valley from the rest of the country. The upper reaches in the area are having heavy snowfall since last night. Life in the area was paralysed by the snowfall this morning which followed incessant rains during the night.

Roofs and tree-tops, electricity and telephone poles and roads turned white even as people remained indoors because of holiday and the biting cold outside.

Most residential colonies including Budshah Nagar Natipora, Bemina and Azad Basti, in the city had 1 feet of water flowing, making the movement of people almost impossible.

A report from Baramula said that about 1 feet of fresh snow was recorded at the world famous ski resort of Gulmarg and Khilanmarg since last evening, adding to the delight of skiers who had gathered there to participate in different ski courses.

It was heavily snowing in the border area of Keran, Karnah, Gurez and Teetwal, the report said, adding that about 2 feet of fresh snow had been recorded in these areas since last evening.

People in the area living in the upper reaches of the valley had been advised to restrict their movement as there was a possibility of a snow avalanche.

Meanwhile, the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only road linking the valley with the rest of the country, had been closed for traffic because of fresh snowfall at Banihal, Qazigund, Patnitop and Jawahar tunnel.

A report received by the traffic police control room here said that 3 inches to 6 inches of fresh snow was recorded on the highway till 10 a.m.

The Border Roads Organisation, responsible for the maintenance of the highway, has pressed its sophisticated snow clearance machines and men into work to make the highway traffic worthy as soon as possible.

No vehicle was allowed to leave Srinagar or Jammu this morning. Vehicles, including some passenger vehicles and trucks loaded with essential commodities, were stranded on either side of the highway.

SHIMLA: Higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh experienced another spell of snowfall today while lower and mid hills had rain, renewing the cold wave in the region.

The tourist resorts of Kufri and Narkanda in Shimla district and Manali in Kulu district had mild snowfall, accompanied by rain. Tourists preferred to stay indoors.

The tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi valley in Chamba district had a moderate to heavy snowfall since last night. UNIBack

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