Srinagar-Jammu highway reopens, Kargil records lowest tempearture

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Srinagar, Jan 3: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country was opened for one-way traffic on Friday, three days after heavy snowfall forced its closure.

"The national highway is now open but only one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar will be allowed today," a spokesman of the traffic department told PTI. No vehicle from Srinagar will be allowed to ply towards Jammu, he said, adding the highway was cleared of all the stranded vehicles yesterday.

The 294-km road, the only all weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, was closed Tuesday following heavy snowfall across the Valley. The cold wave following Tuesday's snowfall resulted in the mercury dipping by several degrees but there was slight respite from the intense cold conditions in most parts of the Valley last night.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius, as against the previous night's minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET Department said here.

The minimum temperature in Pahalgam in south Kashmir increased by over four degrees to settle at a low of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius compared to minus 12.2 degrees Celsius the previous night. However, Kargil recorded the season's coldest night so far as mercury plunged over eight degrees from the previous night's minus 11.6 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 19.8 degrees Celsius last night, the official said.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius, same as the previous night, the official said. The minimum temperature recorded in Qazigund - the gateway town to Kashmir Valley - was minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, one degree down from the previous night's minus 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Kokernag, in south, recorded a low of minus 6.1 degrees Celsius as against minus 6.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said. The minimum in Kupwara, in north Kashmir, increased by over three degrees to settle at a low of minus 0.9 degree Celsius compared to the previous night's minus 4.4 degrees Celsius.

Leh, in Ladakh region, recorded an increase of one degree in the night temperature as the minimum settled at minus 14.2 degrees Celsius against the previous night's minus 15.3 degrees Celsius. The MET Department has said the weather would remain mainly dry over the next 24 hours.

PTI

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