Kashmir: Power crisis continues, 2 die of cold
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Last Updated: Sunday, January 08, 2012, 18:04
  
Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley continued to shiver a day after it received heavy snowfall, with the summer capital and Gulmarg resort recording the coldest night of this winter, leading to the death of two persons.

The mercury across the region plunged by several notches as the Valley was draped in all white following yesterday's snowfall.

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained closed for third consecutive day today. Although the road has been cleared of the snow, the freezing overnight temperatures have rendered the road slippery and unsafe for plying of vehicles, officials said.

The officials said there was fresh snowfall around Jawahar tunnel this morning which is likely to delay the reopening of the arterial 294-kilometre road, the only surface link between the Valley and rest of the country.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at minus 5.5 deg C, which was the coldest night in the city this winter, an official of MET department said.

The city had recorded the season's low of minus 4.9 deg C in the third week of December.

Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting Kashmir during the winter, recorded a low of minus 16.5 deg C, the official said.

He said Qazigund recorded a minimum temperature of minus 8.4 deg C followed by Kokernag (minus 6.3 deg C), Pahalgam (minus 6.0 deg C) and Kupwara (minus 5.6 deg C).

The drop in night temperature has resulted in formation of a layer of ice even on the city roads while water supply pipes have been frozen.

Dal Lake and other water bodies in the valley were also partially frozen due to intense cold.

The weatherman has forecast snowfall or rains at few places in the valley over the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, electricity supply has not been restored in the Valley so far as repair work on the transmission line between Northern Grid and Kashmir has not been completed yet, officials said.

They said the transmission line was cut off due to snowfall on Friday night and fresh snowfall was hampering the work.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has directed authorities to supply electricity from internal power generation sources in the Valley only to emergency services like hospitals only till full electricity is restored.

Desh Raj (50) was found dead in his agricultural fields in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district, officials said.

He reportedly died due to extreme cold, they said, adding that another unidentified middle aged man died of cold and was found in Bishnah area of Jammu district.

Over 2,000 vehicles were stranded on 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway, which remained closed for the third consecutive day today.

"The closure of highway for the third consecutive day today due to heavy snowfall in Jawahar tunnel-Patnitop area has forced over 2,000 vehicles to stop enroute at various places," police official said.

With the closure of the only surface link between Kashmir and rest of the country, vehicles are stranded at Jammu, Nagrota, Udhampur, Chenani, Ramban areas.

Efforts are being made by Border Road Oraganisations (BRO) to clear roads after the snowfall stopped, they said. The BRO officials said traffic between Jammu and Ramban, covering 147-km stretch of the road, and Ramban to Banihal will restored by this evening.

The inter-districts road of Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch and Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar were also closed due to snowfall at various places. The inter-state Bhaderwah-Chamba (Himachal Pradesh) road is closed following eight feet snow at Sartangal Pass.

Normal life in Kashmir came to a grinding halt with power, water and communication services being badly hit after heavy snowfall yesterday.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, January 08, 2012, 13:24


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