Rabiya BashirSrinagar, Jan 10:
The minimum temperatures improved Thursday to minus 0.3 degrees Celsius from Wednesday's minus 3 with weatherman forecasting another spell of snowfall in Kashmir from Thursday night till January 12.
On Thursday morning, the minimum recorded temperature at Pahalgam was minus 11.4 degree Celsius while it was minus 8.5 degree Celsius at Gulmarg, minus 15 degree Celsius in Leh town and minus 18.2 degree Celsius in Kargil.
Jammu and Katra both recorded a minimum temperature of 5.7 degree Celsius.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its Thursday bulletin that western disturbance would likely cause widespread rains and snow over Jammu Kashmir.
Director local Meteorological department, Sonum Lotus said the State would receive fresh snowfall from Thursday night.
“Snowfall is most likely to commence from January 10 evening in northwest Kashmir and increase in intensity and distribution at most places of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh especially Kargil district with main activity on January 11 and 12. Higher reaches of Kashmir and Pir Panjal range may receive heavy snowfall,” he said.
Lotus said there would be a moderate to heavy snowfall in the higher reaches and light to heavy snowfall in the plains of the Valley.
He said the higher reaches of Kashmir and Pir Panjal range may receive heavy snowfall, which may lead to temporary disruption of surface and air transportation, mainly on January 12.
However, SP Traffic Rural Kashmir, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah said traffic was plying from Jammu to Srinagar on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
“The traffic movement on the highway depends on the weather conditions. We will see if there will be a snowfall and take steps accordingly," he said.
The Valley received its first snowfall of the year on January 4, bringing respite in the chilly conditions, but leading to disruption of both air and road traffic.
In view of the forecast, Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, along with Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam arrived at the winter secretariat on Tuesday to review the State’s preparedness.
Ganai raised the issue of delay in snow clearance from roads and by-lanes in certain pockets of the Valley and directed the divisional administration to ensure timely action.
He also urged the administration to ensure that along with the urban centers, life in far-flung areas does not get disrupted by the wet weather, a government spokesman said in a statement.
Chief Secretary Subrahmanyam urged the deputy commissioners to access the funds admissible under SDRF for restoration of water supply schemes, power and road infrastructure, as per requirement.
The stock position with regard to essential items including LPG, rice, sugar, kerosene oil and other fuels was reviewed extensively, the spokesman said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.