Early snowfall and heavy rain on Thursday threw normal life out of gear in the Union Territories (UTs) of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. The temperature has dipped drastically due to the sudden change in early November.
The tourist destination of Gulmarg recorded the highest snowfall of 4 ft till Thursday afternoon. The 300 km long Jammu–Srinagar highway was closed for vehicular traffic due to snow and landslides. Hundreds of vehicles and apple laden trucks were stranded on the highway and the valley.
The Mughal Road, that is the alternate road route to Kashmir through Rajouri in Jammu, is also closed due to snow since Wednesday.
The plains of Jammu were experiencing heavy rain and thunderstorms since Wednesday night. Electricity supply has been hit due to bad weather. Police said that snowfall has been reported across Kashmir.
Srinagar has recorded 4.5 inches snowfall till the afternoon, Sonmarg 8 inches, Pahalgam 4 inches, Jawahar Tunnel 7 inches, and Gurez 1.5 feet, J&K police said.
The Srinagar administration has issued helpline numbers for the information of the general public requiring assistance in view of the prevalent weather situation in the district. The general public has been asked to contact these phone numbers in case of an eventuality.
Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that response mechanism to deal with the situation having arisen from the inclement weather situation in the district has been fully activated and that all line departments including MED, PWD, PHE, SMC, PDD, UEED, Traffic and Health are on the ground in efforts to restore the affected services.
He said the concerned departments are under strict instructions to ensure swift snow-clearance and dewatering of all roads and lanes especially those leading to important installations like hospitals and receiving stations and that the Traffic department has been directed to ensure maximum deployment for effective handling of traffic situation and movement in the city.
The DC said all the line departments have established control rooms for the convenience of general public and all of them are under strict instructions to deploy adequate men and machinery on the ground and work in close coordination amongst themselves.
23 snowplows have been deployed in ongoing efforts to clear the roads of snow. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is also involved in the snow-clearance operation on all main roads and pedestrian lanes across the Srinagar city. Personnel are on the ground involved in efforts aimed at the earliest possible restoration of services, the DC said.
It was also informed that all of 80 dewatering stations of SMC and 12 of UEED and 21 mobile pumping stations of SMC are operational in the Srinagar city.