Kashmir has experienced a cold season this year, with the longest snowfall, raising concerns about global warming. However, according to a new report, Kashmir woke up from a winter wonderland on Sunday.
The snowfall disrupted normal life and led to cancellation of flights at Srinagar airport, while the important Jammu-Srinagar national highway was disrupted for nearly four hours after landslides in Jammu’s Ramban district. Heavy rain was also reported in the upper part of the valley, while the plains saw moderate snowfall. The severe closure of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to landslides has severely hampered travel in the region.
As snow removal operations continue, traffic is slow due to slippery roads. Snowfall that resumed on Sunday after a brief respite forced the authorities to cancel all flights in and out of Srinagar airport for the day. An official of the Airport Authority of India said that bad weather conditions in Srinagar were the main reason behind the chaos.
In this regard, IndiGo, the bus carrier, issued a statement and said that due to disruption caused by weather conditions, it will cancel six flights, including four to Srinagar and two to Leh. The airline said the closure of runways at Srinagar and Leh airports prompted it to take the measures. Despite the problem, the airline informed passengers about the cancellation and that it emphasized options for affected passengers, such as a full refund, another travel section or a rescheduled flight.
Adding to the travel woes, the Jammu and Kashmir Traffic Police reported the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Kishtwari Pather due to landslides. Although some parts of the stranded vehicles were removed that day, the authorities advised against unnecessary travel on the road.
Kashmiris, who have endured a long drought this year, happily welcomed the rains that made the region a beautiful place. Fall and heavy rain overnight brought an incredible smile, providing a stark contrast to the desert landscape of the valley. As snow removal operations began early Sunday morning, efforts were underway to keep the roads open and re-connected. The climate challenge shows the region’s vulnerability to sudden climate change and shows the need for resilient infrastructure, which can withstand and recover from such natural events.