Cold wave conditions were renewed in Kashmir Valley as intermittent snowfall and rains lashed some parts for the second day, prompting authorities to suspend traffic on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
"No movement of traffic, either from Jammu or Srinagar, was allowed on the national highway due to continuous snowfall and rains between Qazigund and Ramban stretch which triggered shooting of stones at several places," a spokesman of the traffic department said.
Intermittent shooting of stones from the hillocks continued at Battery Chasma, Panthyal, Anokhifall and Digdol blocking the nearly 300-km highway - the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country.
Also, about one-and-half-an-inch of snow had accumulated near Jawhar Tunnel in Qazigund sector, 80 km from here, during the night, he said.The decision to suspend traffic on the highway was taken as a precautionary measure to ensure safety and security of the passengers and drivers, the spokesman said.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which maintains the arterial road, has already pressed men and machines to clear the highway but inclement weather is hampering their efforts to restore the road.
The high altitude areas of the Valley including the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonarmag experienced fresh snowfall since last evening, while Srinagar and other plains were lashed by intermittent rains under the influence of Western Disturbance which hit the region yesterday and is expected to remain active till the weekend.
Gulmarg and Sonamarg hill resorts experienced over one feet of fresh snowfall, while Pahalgam hill resort recorded seven cm of snowfall till 0830 hours today, officials said.
The MET office has predicted widespread rain or snow at most places till March 11.As a result of fresh snowfall and rains, the mercury in the region had fallen several degrees resulting in renewed cold in the region.
Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest recorded place at a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, while Srinagar recorded a minimum of 3.1 degrees Celsius against the previous night's 4.3 degrees Celsius.Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the MET office said.