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Updated December 17th, 2023 at 19:28 IST

Strategic routes frozen: Mughal Road and Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri closed amidst snowfall

Authorities have temporarily closed the historic Mughal Road and the strategic Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri (SSG) road as a precautionary measure.

Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil
Snowfall in Kashmir
Snowfall in Kashmir | Image:Republic
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In the wake of fresh snowfall in the upper reaches of the Kashmir valley, authorities have temporarily closed the historic Mughal Road and the strategic Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri (SSG) road as a precautionary measure, authorities said on Sunday.

Snow clearance operations are underway, but the closures have significantly disrupted travel and raised concerns about the impact on strategic supply lines.

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The closure of the Mughal Road, which links south Kashmir's Shopian district with Poonch and Rajouri in the Jammu division, has left local communities and businesses grappling with challenges.

Daily life has been severely affected, with transportation of goods hampered. “Transporting goods has come to a standstill due to the closure. Mughal Road is crucial for our business, and the delays are not just costing us time but also money. Every hour counts in our line of work,” said Junaid Dar,” a truck driver.

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“The closure of the Mughal Road affects my business significantly. Tourists and locals alike depend on us for transportation and these closures mean fewer customers. It’s tough for everyone in the transportation business," said Farooq Ahmed, a taxi driver who was supposed to take tourists to the popular tourist spot 'Peer Ki Gali’.

Meanwhile, the suspension of traffic on the Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road, a lifeline for Ladakh, has broader implications. This crucial route serves as a conduit for military and logistical movements, playing a pivotal role in national security. The closure adds more challenges to defence forces in maintaining supply lines to and from Ladakh.

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Travelers, including locals and tourists, are experiencing delays and inconvenience as they navigate alternative routes or await the completion of snow clearance operations.

Despite these challenges, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway remains operational, providing a crucial connection for those travelling in the region.

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Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has initiated snow clearance operations at various locations including Sadhna Pass, Tangdhar, Keran, and Machil in north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

Meteorological Department officials said that due to their light intensity, no specific weather alerts have been issued for the affected territories so far.

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The minimum temperature in Srinagar was below normal by 0.3 degrees Celsius, the Gulmarg ski resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district experienced a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, slightly higher than the previous night and 1.4 degrees Celsius above the resort's normal temperature.

Pahalgam health resort in Anantnag recorded a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, recorded a deviation of 1.3 degrees Celsius below the normal temperature.

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Kokernag in Anantnag witnessed a minimum of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, below normal by 0.7 degrees Celsius. Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recorded a minimum of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, 2.7 degrees Celsius below the normal temperature for the area.

In north Kashmir's Kupwara, the minimum temperature was minus 1.7 degrees Celsius, which was 0.7 degrees Celsius above the normal temperature.

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Published December 17th, 2023 at 19:28 IST

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