Dozens of far-flung, remote villages near LoC cut off due to snow

OUR CORRESPONDENT
SRINAGAR, Feb 12: Dozens of far-flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), were cut off with their respective district and tehsil headquarters due to fresh snowfall in north Kashmir, since Sunday night.
It was snowing heavily in the entire north Kashmir, officials said.
“We have closed Sadhna Top, Z-Gali and Phirkiyan pass due to moderate to heavy snowfall since last night,” they said. However, the road between Bandipora to border town of Gurez remained closed due to accumulation of snow, particularly at Razdan top. It was snowing since early this morning, a Police Control Room (PCR) official said over phone from Bandipora.
The road is likely to reopen in March or April, he added. Roads from Kupwara to border towns of Keran, Karnah, Machil, Tangdhar and dozens of other far-flung and remote villages, including those near LoC, remained closed.
There was fresh snowfall since last night, a PCR official said from Kupwara. He said about six inches to one feet of fresh snowfall had accumulated at Z-Gali, Phirkiyan pass and Sadhna top, where 11 people, including an officer of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), were killed in a snow avalanche in January this year.
Meanwhile our correspondent adds that moderate to heavy snowfall started in the valley as rain lashed the plains on Monday breaking longest dry spell in Valley has brought happiness to the people of Kashmir.
The snow and rain is likely to continue till Tuesday, the weather official said.
Heavy snowfall in Banihal sector of Jammu-Srinagar Highway closed the road for traffic as authorities said no vehicular movement will be allowed on Monday.
People throughout the Kashmir Valley greeted the snowfall that will replenish the perennial water reservoirs in the mountains. These reservoirs sustain various rivers, streams, springs and lakes during the summer months.
Authorities have set up helpline numbers for people to approach in case of emergencies in different districts of the valley.
The minimum temperatures have also appreciably improved throughout the state due to a cloud cover.
The minimum temperature was zero in Srinagar while it was minus 0.1 in Pahalgam and minus 4.6 in Gulmarg.
Kargil town at minus 14 was the coldest, followed by Leh at minus 11.3 degrees Celsius.
Jammu city recorded 10.5, Katra 7.6, Batote 1.3, Bannihal 0.2, Bhaderwah 0.4 and Udhampur 8.8 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperatures of the day.
However, the arterial Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed on Monday due to snowfall. No vehicular traffic will be allowed on the highway due to continuous snowfall. The meteorological department has predicted moderate to heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir during the next couple of days, while a high-danger avalanche warning has been issued for parts of the state.
Breaking the nearly two-month long dry spell, rain lashed the plains of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday while moderate to heavy snowfall has been reported from the higher reaches.
Following the reports, the Jammu and Kashmir government has asked the authorities concerned to be in a state of readiness to meet the situation.