Biting chill continues in Kashmir, mercury slips


Srinagar : The spell of biting cold continued across the Kashmir Valley and the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday as night temperatures remained much below the freezing point.

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“Due to clear night skies, the minimum temperatures remained much below the freezing point in the valley and the Ladakh region Wednesday,” said R.L. Pandita, assistant director of the local weather office here.

“Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 5.2. Gulmarg was minus 13.6 and Pahalgam minus 14.6. It was minus 19.0 and minus 22.0 in Leh and Kargil towns of Ladakh region respectively,” he added.

Jammu city recorded a minimum of 4.2 degrees Celsius.

“We are expecting the weather to remain cold and dry during the next 24 hours, which means the night temperatures can dip further,” Pandita said.

Locals again woke up to frozen water taps in Srinagar and other towns in the valley.

“Most of my time in the morning was wasted, trying to warm up the water pipes which had frozen solid during the night,” said Basharat Ahmad, 47, who lives in uptown Hyderpora area of Srinagar city.

Extreme frost has made the roads very slippery in the city and the traffic department has issued advisories, asking the drivers to drive slowly and cautiously to avoid accidents.

“Pedestrians are requested to use the pedestrian malls and not walk on the sides of the motorable roads as slippery conditions often result in vehicles skidding out of the driver’s control,” said Vijay Kumar, deputy inspector general of police in charge of traffic.

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway No.1A will remain open for one-way traffic Wednesday as vehicles are being allowed to move from Jammu to Srinagar.

“No vehicle will be allowed to move in the opposite direction from Srinagar to Jammu,” a traffic official said.