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Heavy snowfall throws life out of gear in Kashmir

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
February 06, 2009 13:15 IST
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Kashmir Valley received its first snowfall of the year on Thursday, after a long spell of relatively warm weather and intermittent rains.

January, which usually heralds sub-zero chilly conditions, was unusually warm this year, with the day's temperature never dipping below zero.

The past fortnight has been marked by an unexpected spell of warm sunshine, surprising long-time residents and weather experts.

The higher reaches of the Valley have been receiving periodic snowfalls, with Gulmarg remaining under a thick carpet of snow since November, giving a major boost to its winter sports activities.

The heavy snowfall has thrown normal life out of gear by cutting off the power supply to many parts of the Valley. The thick layer of snow on the roads is causing mayhem for  pedestrians and motorists. Many areas of the Valley have been cut off due to the heavy snowfall.

The Srinagar Jammu National Highway has been closed to vehicular traffic, but the supply of essential commodities has not been affected.

The state government has deployed snow-clearing machines to bring the situation under control. 

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar