Northwest witnesses rise in mercury, Highway reopens in J

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (UNI) The cold wave conditions abated in most parts of the northwest India due to a rise in mercury as two-way passenger traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway resumed today after remaining suspended since January 5.

A traffic constable said no heavy vehicles, particuarly trucks, will be allowed till the passenger vehicles cross the danger area on the national highway.

The stranded vehicles between the Jawhar tunnel to Ramsu were allowed to proceed toward Srinagar last evening after the Border Roads Organisation cleared the snow.

However, this morning official sources said because the road had become slippery, it was decided to allow traffic only after the frozen parts got defreezed and became safe for journey.

In the Kashmir valley the night temperatures also rose with minimum temperatures at Srinagar and Jammu recorded at 1.2 and 8.2 degrees Celsius respectively.

In northwest part of the country higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh had moderate snowfall and isolated areas in the state had rain while the mercury rose in Punjab and Haryana.

In Himachal tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi valley in Chamba district had another spell of snowfall intensifying cold wave currently lashing the tribal belt. People groaned under severe cold wave conditions in tribal area of Kalpa in Kinnaur district with the mercury falling to minus 2.5 degrees.

The 13050-foot high Rohtang Pass also witnessed snowfall since last night. High altitude areas in Chamba, Kullu and Kangra districts also experienced a fresh spell of snowfall. Isolated areas in the state, including Bhuntar, Dharamsala and Sundernagar, were lashed by rain.

The minimum stayed 1.0 degrees at Bhuntar in Kullu district while Sundernagar in Mandi district showed 3.2 and the capital town of Shimla recorded 3.7 degrees.

In Punjab, where the cold wave abated, Amritsar was the coldest place recorded the minimum at 3.2, followed by Patiala showing 7.3 and Ludhiana 7.6 degrees.

Haryana also recorded a rise in the night temperatures as Ambala recorded 4.5, Karnal 5.8 and Rohtak 6.7 degrees minimum temperature.

The minimum hovered at 10.4 at Hissar and 8.2 degrees at Narnaul.

The mercury also rose in Chandigarh even as chilly winds swept the city during the day. The city recorded the minimum at 8.8 degrees.

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