Srinagar, Jan 14 (PTI) Kashmir Valley was today cut offfrom rest of the country as fresh snowfall forced closure ofSrinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only road link to theregion, and led to cancellation of all the flights here.
"The traffic on the national highway has been stopped asa precautionary measure on either side of the Jawahar tunnelafter the snowfall rendered the road slippery," a spokesman ofthe traffic control room told PTI.
Fresh snowfall in the Valley brought respite to theresidents from the dry cold wave conditions, but affectedair-traffic as tarmac at the Srinagar International Airportwas covered by the white blanket.
"The scheduled flights to and from Srinagar InternationalAirport has been cancelled due to bad weather," a spokesman ofthe airport said.
It started snowing in the high altitude areas late lastevening, while the summer capital Srinagar experiencedsnowfall this morning, much to the delight of the people whowere reeling under intense cold wave conditions.
The snowfall has ended a week-long dry spell in theValley and came as a big relief to the people, especiallywinter sports lovers.
Lack of snowfall or downpour during the winter monthsoften cause common ailments like cold, cough and respiratoryproblems especially among elderly and children.
MeT department officials said snowfall was receivedacross the Kashmir Valley with the skiing resort of Gulmarg,the coldest place in the region last night at minus 8 degreesCelsius, getting maximum snowfall.
Light snowfall was also recorded at the tourist resortof Pahalgam in south Kashmir.
There was not much of a change in the minimumtemperatures in most parts of the Valley, but the mercury inQazigund town, known as gateway of Kashmir, rose by twodegrees to settle at minus 0.6 deg Cel.
Kupwara district in north Kashmir recorded nearly threedegrees increase in the minimum temperature and the lowesttemperature settled at 0.7 degrees C.
However, Leh town in Ladakh region was freezing as theminimum temperature recorded there continues to hover aroundminus 20 degrees Celsius.
Kargil town too recorded a decrease of 0.4 degrees in theminimum with mercury settling at minus 15.8 deg C.
The Kashmir Valley is in the grip of an intense coldwave as it witnesses 40 days of harsh winter, locally called''Chillai Kalaan'', which ends on January 30.