Srinagar: The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was thrown open to one-way traffic on Saturday after it remained closed for two days due to heavy snowfall even as chilly winds continued to lash the summer capital.
"The highway has been opened for one-way traffic. Vehicles will be allowed to move from Jammu to Srinagar today (Saturday) and they must cross the Jawahar tunnel before 6.00 pm," an official of the traffic department said here.
"No vehicle will be allowed to cross the tunnel after 6.00 pm," he said.
It was decided not to allow vehicular movement after 6.00 pm because of the extremely slippery conditions on the road after sunset, the official added.
Four feet of snow had accumulated on the highway during the last two days and the Border Roads Organization used bulldozers to clear the highway.
For the first time in the last 20 days, the minimum temperature rose above the freezing point in summer capital Srinagar.
"The minimum temperature was 0.8 degrees Celsius in Srinagar," an official of the weather department here said.
However, the minimum dropped to minus 9 in the Gulmarg ski resort and minus 8.6 in Pahalgam hill station, he added.
Chilly winds lashed Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir Valley because of the heavy snowfall in the mountains during the last two days.
The cloud cover over the Valley broke Saturday morning as the feeble winter sun shone, bringing some warmth to the locals.
Doctors here believe the end of the long cold and dry spell will definitely bring down the incidence of various respiratory ailments afflicting people here.
"We are expecting the cycle of respiratory infections to come down after the snowfall. Most of the cases we have seen are because of allergies to dry and cold weather and the snowfall should decrease their occurrence," said Sajad, a physician, here.