Fresh snowfall in the high altitude areas on Wednesday forced the closure of 434-km strategic Srinagar-Leh national highway and a Mughal road connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri with south Kashmir's Shopian district, officials said. The roads linking the border towns of Gurez in Bandipora district and Karhnah and Tangdhar in Kupwara district were also closed, while the traffic on Jammu-Srinagar national highway was restricted to one-way and only Srinagar-bound vehicles were allowed on this highway this morning, the traffic department officials said.
The upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh including the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg experienced snowfall overnight under the influence of Western Disturbance which hit the region and is likely to remain active till the morning of December 14, bring moderate and heavy snowfall and rains, especially on Thursday and Friday.
Srinagar-Leh national highway, Mughal Road, Bandipora-Gurez and Kupwara-Tangdhar-Karnah roads were closed on Wednesday morning following fresh snowfall at various places along these vital roads, the officials said.
All these roads usually remain closed during winter months due to heavy snowfall.
They said the snowfall is continuing along the Sonamarg-Zojilla axis on Srinagar-Leh highway, the only road linking Kashmir with Ladakh, Pir Ki Gali and adjoining areas along Mughal road, Razdan top and Sadna top in north Kashmir's Bandipora and Kupwara districts.
Srinagar-Leh national highway and Mughal roads were cleared for one-way traffic only on December 8 after remaining closed for several weeks following heavy snowfall in November.
The officials said the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, remain open but the traffic was restricted to one-way.
Only Srinagar-bound vehicles were allowed to move on the highway, they said. The traffic is playing alternatively on the highway from the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar since December 9, a practice that comes into force during winter to allow smooth passage of vehicles in the wake of the ongoing four-laning project.
The weatherman has issued an orange warning for the twin Union Territories for Thursday and Friday, predicting moderate to heavy snowfall and rain.
The Kashmir administration has deployed 154 snow clearance machines across the Valley.
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