Srinagar: Heavy snowfall on Tuesday snapped air and surface links with the Kashmir Valley for the rest of country forcing authorities to order rationing of essentials commodities to evade any crisis in supply. The Srinagar-Jammu Highway remained closed for the third consecutive day. The nearly 300-km long highway is the lifeline of supplies for the landlocked valley. Each time, the highway gets blocked, hoarders and profiteers resort to black marketing.
Authorities on Tuesday announced rationing of petroleum products and cooking gas. An order issued by P.K. Pole, Kashmir divisional commissioner said two-wheelers will get 3 litres of fuel, three wheelers 5 litres, four wheelers (Private) 10 litres, four wheelers commercial 20 litres and heavy motor vehicles/buses/trucks will get 20 litres per day. It has been ordered that one cooking gas cylinder will be issued to the consumer after 21 days.
Heavy snowfall has also disrupted electric supply in the valley in addition to inter- and intra- district road links. In the absence of electricity, locals have reverted back to time-tested methods of keeping themselves warm. The earthen fire pot woven in a basket of willow wicker called the ‘Kangri’ is still a Kashmir’s best bet in winter. Uninterrupted snowfall since morning has forced many residents in south Kashmir districts to clear rooftops so that these do not collapse under the weight of the accumulated snow.
South Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian have received an average of 2 to 3 feet of snow in the plains and around 5 feet in the higher reaches. Srinagar city also received the first major snowfall of the season as nearly a foot of snow accumulated on ground till noon. The weather office has said that same weather conditions will continue till Wednesday after which there would be marked improvement in weather in Jammu and Kashmir.
J&K DMA issues fresh avalanche warning
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority (JKDMA) on Tuesday issued fresh medium to low level avalanche warnings for higher reaches of avalanche-prone areas of the Union Territory. Medium level avalanche warning has been issued for higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara and Bandipora districts besides Waltengu Nad, South and North portals of Jawahar Tunnel, Verinag, Kapran, Chowkibal-NC Pass, Gurez, Dawar and Neeru areas.
Similarly, low level avalanche warning has been issued for upper reaches of Udhampur, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Sonamarg-Zojila, Z-Gali-Kalaroose, Kanzalwan, Tangmarg and Gulmarg. People living in these areas have been advised not to venture out to avoid risk to their lives.