Mughal Road Closed Due to Fresh Snowfall

A file photo of snow-clearance operations on Mughal Road which connects Poonch in Jammu region and Shopian in South Kashmir. KT Photo/Qazi Irshad
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SRINAGAR: The historic Mughal Road, connecting Kashmir Valley’s Shopian district with twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, was declared closed due to fresh snowfall on Thursday, November 09, 2023, according to officials in Srinagar.

The officials said that there was fresh snowfall in ‘Pir Ki Gali’ and other adjoining areas, leading to the closure of the fair weather road, which was considered to be alternate road communication between Jammu region and Kashmir Valley. The second road communication between Kashmir and Jammu being Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag Road.

The Kishtwar-Sinthan-Anantnag is also closed to movement of vehicular traffic once the snowfall takes place in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir. The snow accumulation on the two passes Pir Ki Gali and Sinthan Pass is up to 30 meters making it extremely difficult for the snow clearance operations that can facilitate vehicular movement on these high-altitude passes.

Some local news gathering agency reports quoted DySP PC Surankote Hamid Ali Bandey as confirming closure of the road due to heavy snowfall. This was the season’s second snowfall during the past few months. But this snowfall was the first one of the winter season that cuts off the surface transport communication between the two regions in J&K.

Earlier this year, the road, considered as alternative to only lifeline Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, was closed on two occasions due to snowfall, particularly in ‘Pir KiGali’ and its adjoining areas.

The Meteorological Department in Kashmir had forecast commencement of rains and snow from Thursday late afternoon or evening in Jammu and Kashmir. An official from MeT told news agency Kashmir Scroll that currently, weather is fairly to generally cloudy and overcast with light rains at few places.

However, from Thursday late afternoon and evening generally cloudy weather with light to moderate rains over plains and light snow over higher reaches (Razdan Pass, Sadhna Pass, Sinthan Pass, Zojila and Mughal Road) and few middle reaches of South and Central Kashmir, he added.

Tomorrow, generally cloudy weather with Light rains and snow at scattered places in the morning hours and improvement thereafter in the afternoon is expected, he said. During this period, there is possibility of temporary disruption of surface transportation over higher reaches. From 11th-18th November, weather will remain mainly dry again, he said.