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42 flights axed, orange alert issued in Kashmir

Official sources said out of 44 scheduled flights 42 to and from at Srinagar-Delhi-Srinagar and other routes at International Airport were canceled due to inclement weather and poor visibility. However, as the weather slightly improves some flights moved to their destinations, they added.

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Srinagar: Flight operations at Srinagar International Airport were badly affected due to inclement weather and poor visibility, an official said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has issued an “orange alert” in Kashmir, saying rains and snowfall were expected to intensify in the coming days.

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Official sources said out of 44 scheduled flights 42 to and from at Srinagar-Delhi-Srinagar and other routes at International Airport were canceled due to inclement weather and poor visibility. However, as the weather slightly improves some flights moved to their destinations, they added.

“Continuous snow fall and poor visibility resulted in 42 cancellations today across all airlines. The visibility has now improved and the flights are operating,” Srinagar Airport said in a tweet.

They said: “All the passengers of the cancelled flights shall be rescheduled in the next available flight of the concerned airlines. There will be no extra charges for rescheduling. The passengers may also opt for full refund at their convenience.”

“We are grateful to all our esteemed passengers for their understanding and cooperation in the face of adverse weather,” another tweet of the Srinagar Airport said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said: “The International Airport has no landing aids that enable runway to remain open when visibility dips.”

In a tweet Omar said: “Our “international airport” has no landing aids that enable runway to remain open when visibility dips. We make such a big deal about tourism & investment promotion now imagine the plight of those tourists who’ve sat all day outside the terminal &watched their flights get cancelled.”

The ‘orange alert’ comes a day after the weatherman issued an advisory for rain and snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir till January 9 and said the weather likely to cause disruption of surface to air traffic and trigger snow avalanche in vulnerable higher reaches. 

J&K government on Tuesday asked the health officers in the valley not to leave their respective stations as any emergency situation may arise due to the prevalent inclement weather conditions.

Major parts of upper reaches of Kashmir Valley including tourist spots of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Yousmarg and Kokernag received moderate snowfall, leading to closure of several far-flung areas in the Kashmir valley on Tuesday. 

In Srinagar, intermittent rain and snow was witnessed during the day disrupting normal life.

Famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded 21,8 cm of fresh snowfall overnight, while Pahalgam, in south Kashmir, had 13.5 cms of snowfall.

Reports of moderate snowfall were also received from Ganderbal, Sonamarg in central Kashmir and Yousmarg in Badgam district.  

Bandipora-Gurez road was closed due to fresh snowfall besides Razdan top, Tulail and Dawar, roads were also closed, traffic officials said.

Reports said that there were 6 inches of snowfall recorded at Sonamarg to Bajri Nallah in Ganderbal.

Besides, Machil, Karna and Keran roads have also been closed as higher reaches of Kupwara received 1.5 ft of snow. 

Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through despite incessant rains in the plains and snowfall on upper reaches of Pirpanjal range.

Meanwhile, Police across Kashmir Zone established helpline numbers to facilitate the general public seeking help during any emergency arising due to inclement weather, rain/snowfall.

The helpline numbers have been established at all district levels of Kashmir valley as well as in the Police Control Room Kashmir.

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