Drass, Kargil people shiver with cold, highway closed again

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Kargil, Jan 2 (UNI) People in Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, are facing bitting cold after the maximum fell to minus two degrees Celsius and minimum minus 16.5 degrees.

Meanwhile, the divisional authorities have decided to close the 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh Nationl Highway again because of slippery conditions between Gumri and Sonmarg.

Official sources said cold wave conditions prevailed in Drass in Ladakh region after the maximum dipped to minus two degrees.

The night also remained cold with a minimus of minus 16.4 degrees temperature this morning. Major ponds and other water bodies had already frozen and authorities have stopped supplying water through taps. However, water was being supplied through water tankers.

The nearby Kargil recorded a minimum of minus 14.5 degrees while the day was a bit warm with 2.5 degree temperature.

Because of no snowfall, almost all roads to far flung and remote areas, which normally remained closed during winter months, were still open.

The 434-km-long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which was closed as per schedule for six winter months on November 15 last year, was put through to traffic again in the second week of December following no snowfall. It was decided to allow trucks, carrying essential commodities to ply on the highway till there is snowfall.

However, yesterday the divisional authorities decided to close the highway till further orders, as the road strip from Gumri to Sonmarg was slippery.

The dew on the road had freezed and an Ice sheet has formed on the road surface because of minus temperature.

The authorities said it will be risky to allow traffic on the road.

UNI BAS YSS BDP KN1630

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