Fresh snowfall in high altitude areas and rains in plains led to suspension of traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Tuesday, leaving over 1500 vehicles stranded, officials said. A traffic department official said traffic on the strategic highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was suspended from both Srinagar and Jammu in view of the fresh snowfall and rains all along the stretch.
Over 1500 vehicles, mostly Kashmir-bound trucks, are stranded in Ramban-Banihal sector which experienced fresh snowfall and heavy rains since the early hours, he said.
He said about eight inches of fresh snowfall has accumulated on the ground on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel till 10 am, leaving the road slippery, while rains triggered intermittent shooting of stones at various places between Panthiyal and Ramsu in Ramban district.
Officials said snowfall was recorded in high altitude areas of Jammu region including the famous hill resort of Patnitop in Udhampur district.
The weatherman had predicted a spell of fresh snowfall in Kashmir, upper reaches of Jammu and isolated places of Kargil district in the Union Territory of Ladakh for two days beginning Tuesday.
The highway town of Banihal in Ramban and Bhaderwah in Doda district received 6.5 cm of snowfall till 8.30 am followed by 5.3 cm in Batote, also in Ramban along the highway, which was also the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a minimum of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET department said.
He said Jammu city recorded a low of 8.2 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night's 7.6 degrees Celsius.
Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, recorded a minimum of 6.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.