Kashmir Valley affected by heavy snow, seven killed

MAKING LIFE MISERABLE: A snow-covered road in Srinagar on Tuesday

MAKING LIFE MISERABLE: A snow-covered road in Srinagar on Tuesday   | Photo Credit: Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, educational institutions remain closed

Flights in and out of Srinagar hitWaterlogging reported in many areas

SRINAGAR: Seven persons, including a girl, were killed as heavy snow lashed the Kashmir Valley from Monday afternoon. Life was thrown out of gear, with the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway closed, all flights cancelled, schools closed for a week and the Valley groping in dark.

The authorities were caught unawares by the sudden snowfall, that too after the end of winter.

Wazira was killed when a house collapsed at Gudsathu village in Budgam district. Abdul Hamid Mattoo, G. N. Bhat and G. M. Khokhar were reported dead in Anantnag, Pulwama and Baramulla districts.

An Army man was killed at the Srinagar airport area in a house collapse. Two bodies, one of a civilian and another of an Army man, were recovered on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Basharat Ahmad Dhar told The Hindu that two CRPF personnel were injured when their temporary shed collapsed. Snow cutters were pressed into service on a war footing and express directives given to clear the runway at the airport here.

Power supply hit

Power supply, disrupted for the past 24 hours in the whole of the Valley, was restored for emergency and essential services and work to restore it in other areas was on.

``We have restored the 320 KV transmission line between Jammu and Srinagar and other minor lines and receiving stations have also been toned up,'' Mr. Dhar said.

Fearing trouble on account of snapping of electric wires, the authorities were trying to restore the power supply in a phased manner.

There have been complaints from people that owing to disruption in power supply, water was not available.

As snow accumulated on all major and minor routes there was no movement of traffic on roads. In the afternoon, after the sun came out, water-logging was reported in many areas. The Srinagar-Jammu Highway remained closed for the third consecutive day.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad convened an emergency Cabinet meeting to take stock of the situation. It was decided to close all educational institutions for a week. On Monday, two days of holiday was announced in Valley.

Pilgrimage resumes

PTI reports:

The pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi was resumed with improvement in weather conditions.

``As the weather conditions had improved and the sun has come out, we resumed the yatra at 3.45 p.m.,'' Puneet Kumar, Additional Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board, told PTI.

Earlier in the day, the Board announced suspension of the yatra for 24 hours till Wednesday morning.

There was heavy rain on Tuesday morning.

The weather has improved in the Trikuta Hills, which houses the cave shrine.

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