Life in Kashmir was disrupted on the final day of the ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, the harshest winter period in the region, on Monday as fresh snowfall snapped the Valley’s connections with the rest of the country, affecting surface and air traffic, officials said.
Moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded in the plains of Kashmir, while the higher reaches experienced heavy to very heavy falls, they said.
The officials said Srinagar received about seven inches of fresh snowfall, Gulmarg more than a feet, Pahalgam nine inches, Gurez 1.5 feet and the plains of Kupwara district around four inches. In the upper reaches, it was around one-two feet.
They said the snowfall started late Sunday night in most places and continued till the last reports came in.
The snowfall brought normal life to a halt and snapped the Valley’s connection with the rest of the country, the officials said.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic due to snow and landslides at many places along the arterial road.
Train services on the Baramulla-Banihal route were suspended due to accumulation of snow on the tracks, they added.
The officials said the bad weather affected air traffic to and from the valley as flight operations at the Srinagar airport were suspended.
Visibility is very poor and there is snow accumulation on the runway, they said.
The meteorological department predicted heavy snowfall, and rains with thunderstorm in the plains of Jammu, over the next 12 hours.
Expect gradual decrease in the precipitation from Monday night, it said.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature improved across the Valley but stayed below the freezing point.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent — began on December 21 last year. While it ends on January 30, the cold wave continues even after with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai Khurd’ and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bachha’ following it.