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Srinagar-Leh highway closed after heavy snowfall

PTI  Srinagar, November 29, 2012
First Published: 14:46 IST(29/11/2012) | Last Updated: 15:05 IST(29/11/2012)

The Srinagar-Leh national highway was closed for traffic as high altitude areas of Kashmir Valley, including the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, experienced the first heavy snowfall of the season, officials said today.

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Heavy snowfall along the Line of Control (LoC) since last evening also prompted authorities to suspend traffic on the roads connecting the border towns of Gurez, Machil, Karnah, Tangdhar and Keran, the officials added.

They said the Srinagar-Leh national highway-- the only road linking frontier region of Ladakh with Kashmir Valley-- was closed for traffic from yesterday following heavy snowfall.

So far two feet of snow had accumulated on the highway between Sonamarg and Zojilla pass which usually attracts heaviest snowfall during the winter resulting in closure of the road for traffic to about six months in a year, the officials said.

Drass and Kargil towns also experienced snowfall last night. While Drass recorded two inches of snow till this afternoon, Kargil which was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 5.8 degrees celsius witnessed mild snowfall, they said.

Gulmarg, 50 km from here, also recorded 1.5 feet of snow since last evening, bringing cheers on the faces of tourists, who had thronged the resort to experience the snowfall.

It was still snowing in the hill resort and other high altitude areas, the officials said, adding, Gulmarg was the coldest place in the Valley with a minimum of minus 4.5 degrees celsius.

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