Picture By Zargar Zahoor
Srinagar, Jan 13: As the mercury plummeted to eight years low in Srinagar, the roads in this summer capital of J&K and elsewhere turned icy which led to treacherous driving conditions on Wednesday.
Reports said that the motorists had a tough time reaching their destinations as icy was formed on roads, making driving nearly impossible especially during the early hours of the morning. As the sun was out, there was some ease on plain roads but driving on sloppy streets remained tough. The conditions also led to massive traffic jams across the city as snow mounds remain on the roadsides, nearly a week after it stopped snowing. “It was nearly impossible to drive early morning and took me about an hour and a half to reach Dalgate from Lal Bazar, a distance of barely ten kilometers,” Mohammad Sarfaraz, a local resident, said. Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Sonawar Srinagar, said that after snowfall earlier this month, traffic jams have become more frequent especially during morning and evening hours. “The government needs to clear snow from roadsides especially at key locations,” he said.
On January 5, the administration in Srinagar issued an advisory to motorists, among others asking them to check road conditions prior to departure and plan accordingly. “Posted speed limits are designed for optimal weather conditions. If there is snow or other wintry weather, reduce your speed significantly. If you start to skid, you are driving too fast,” it reads, adding, “when driving on snow and ice, you will need more space than usual to come to come to a complete stop..as such you should make sure to provide plenty of space between you and the driver in front of you.”
Reports about treacherous driving conditions were received from other parts of the Valley.
The minimum temperatures plummeted across Kashmir Valley with Srinagar recording the lowest temperature of the season so far and the coldest January night in the past eight years, according to the MeT office.
Similarly, the minimum temperatures plummeted to minus 11.3°C in Pahalgam, minus 9.3°C in Qazigund, minus 9.9°C in Kokernag, minus 5.6°C in Kupwara, and minus 10°C in Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.